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town. Theintelligencc was however not received sufficiently early to prevent the insurgents from taking possession of Antrim; but the general lost no time in ordering a considerable force to proceed to Antrim through Lisburn. under colonels Claveringand Lumley; while another party under colonel Durham, was dispatched to the same place through Carmoney and Templepatrick. The dragoons who arrived first under colonel Lumley were fired at from the houses, and obliged to retreat, with the loss of three officers and two curricle sixpounders. Colonel Clavering, on his arrival, finding the rebels pouring into the town in great force, judiciotosly took post ou a hill on tbe Lisburn side. In the mean time, colonel Durham, with his detachment, advanced within half-amile of Antrim, and, after a cannonade of half-an-hour, drove the rebels from the town, and pursued them as far as Loane's castle and Handel's town. At the same time, a party of the rebels were repulsed, from Carrickfergus; but a party of the Toome yeomanry were made prisoners by the insurgents at Toome bridge. We have no return of the loss of the rebels in the engagement at Antrim : but, on the part of the king's troops, several •were killed, and lord O'Ncil, and some other officers and men, dangerously wounded.
The insurrection now became almost general throughout the counties of Down and Antrim; but on the 12th of June the rebels received a complete defeat at Ballynahinch, where they lost upwards of 4<>0 men. On the part of the king's troops, the loss was only five rank and file, and one officer killed, and fourteen wounded. The rebels, however, disputed the ground with
great obstinacy. Their leader, Munro, would have been delivered up by the treachery of some of his accomplices, but he was taken prisoner in the action and.executed.
Though not dissatisfied with the Conduct ot lord Camden, the English government, considering the 'state of Ireland as more desperate than perhaps it really was, determined to give to the sister kingdom a military lord-lieutenant. The marquis Cornwallis arrived at Dubliu in that capacity on the ^Otn of June, and immediately assumed the reins of government.—The conduct of his lordship was on the whole judicious.—On the 17th of July, he sent a message to the house of commons by lord Castlerea^h, intimating that he had received his majesty's command to acquaint them—" that he had signified his gracious intention of granting a general pardon for all offences committed, on or before a certain day, upon such conditions, and with such exceptions, as might be compatible with the general safety." But " these otters of mercy to the repentcnt were not to preclude measures of vigour against the obstinate."
Jn the mean time a special commission was opened in Dublin for the trial of the principal delinquents. Messrs. John and Henry Sheafcs, M'Cann, the secretary to the provincial meeting, and Mr. W. M. Byrne, an active member of the society of united Irishmen, were all tried and executed. Mr. Oliver Bond was tried on the 23d of July, convicted, and condemned; and in his fate the other conspirators now began to read and foresee their own. The rebellion. was now apparently crushed. The people were every where returning in numbers to their allegiance, and
delivering up their arms.—Their hopes from France had been miserably disappointed; and nothing appeared before their eyes but individual destruction, without having effected any one purpose for which they had associated. Thus prepared for submission, and for tue discfosure of the destructive plans in which they had been engaged, a negotiation was happily opened between the Irish government and the state delinquents. The circumstances which led to this treaty have never been published by authority; but we have reason to think, that our information on the whole is not incorrect. As Mr. Bond was highly and respectably connected, great interest was made from different quarters to save his life. We believe it was then intimated on the firt of government, that if Mr. ond would consent to give to administration all the information of •which he was possessed relative to the conspiracy and the rebellion, his sentence might be commuted for that of banishment. Mr. Bond, we have understood, at first rejected this proposal, if his information or evidence should endanger the life of any man with whom he was connected. The scheme of mercy was then extended, it is said, orfthe part of government, to the whole of the state prisoners; and in the mean time Mr. Bond was indulged with a respite. After some negotiation therefore, in which it is said Mr. Dobbs, a member of the Irish parliament, took a very humane and active part, the whole of the state prisoners, including the two 0'Connors,counselior runmeU.Dr. M'Nevin, and Mr. Neilson, consented to "ive to the government every information in their power,
on the conditions that they should be at liberty voluntarily to transport themselves to any country not at war with his m;;esty; that Mr. Bond * should receive a paruon on the same condition ; and that no further prosecutions should be carried on upon tiie score of the conspiracy, except against actual murderers, or such rebels as should hereafter be taken in arms. The interesting information communicated by these gentlemen has been consolidated in the report which, on the 21st of August, was presented to the house of commons by lord viscount Castlereagh, and the substance of it has already been detailed with other matter in the preceding part of this chapter.
The system of moderation and mercy pursued by lord Cornwallis appeared peculiarly seasonable at this crisis, and was apparently attended with the happiest effects. The system of military law and military execution was relaxed throughout all those jiarts fif the kingdom where the flames of rebellion appeared to be extinguished. In one instance, indeed, his lordship gave some offence to the more violent partisans of government, while his conduct had the praise of every friend of justice and humanity.—A yeoman was tried by a court-martial for the murder, in cold "blood, of a person whom he asserted to have been a rebel. The yeoman was acquitted by the court-martial, but on grounds so unsatisfactory, that his lordship publicly testified his disapprobation of the sentence, and dissolved the court-martial. How far the passins: a bill of attainder, and forfeiture of the estates of lord Edward Fitzgerald, Mr. B. Harvey,
and Mr. Grogan, may hereafter be considered as in some degree a departure from this system of equity and moderation, we are unable to determine. Though justifies! by precedent, it may be questioned, whether to punish the children for the crimes of the parents be perfectly consistent with the mild and equitable spirit which otherwise animates the general system of British jurisprudence. The celebrated Irish advocate, Mr. Curran, in pleading against the bill, is said to have characterised it in his bold and energetic language as—" a measure of supplementary vengeance, seeking reprisals on the grave of the supposed culprit, and plundering the pittance of the widow, and the cradle of the orphan."
To compensate, however, for this solitary instance of severity, a bill of general amnesty was passed in the course of the session, with the exception only of Mr. Nappet Tandy, and about thirty others, chiefly fugitives in France. A bill ■was also passed for granting compensation to such of his majesty's loyal subjects as had sustained losses in their property, in consequence of the Utc rebellion; and commissaries •were named for carrying the same into effect.
After the signal defeat of the rebels at Vinegar-hill, and their consequent expulsion fromEnniscorthy, Wexford, &c. a considerable number dispersed, and returned to their usual occupations. The more desperate retired to the mountainous parts of Wexford and Wicklow counties, where, for a while, they waged a desultory warfare—but in the course of a few weeks were completely subdued. On the 12th of July, however, a large body attacked the town of Clouard, but were repulsed with the loss ot sixty
men, by colonel Blake. The rebel corps, after its defeat, moved towards Longwood, whence they were pursued almost to Oulmullin, anil about thirty were killed in the pursuit. The main body of rebels after this took post on a hill at Garretstown, whither general Myers directed his march, but found that they took advantage of the night to xlecamp. They at length took a strong position in the road to Ardee, where they seemed determined to make a stand; but as soon as the Sunderland regiment arrived with the battalion guqs, they fell into confusion, and were driven into a bog, where great numbers were killed, and a quantity of pikes and muskets taken.
After these transactions, several of the rebel corps laid down their arms, and took the benefit of the amnesty, covenanting only for their 'chiefs, that they should be allowed to transport themselves to-some country at peace with Great Britain.— Those who still resisted might rather be considered as small companies of ban^Htti, who lurked in the woods and mountains, and committed nocturnal depredations, than as an embodiad force.
It was happy for Great Britain and Ireland at this alarming crisis, that the French government was in the hands of the most incapable politicians, that, perhaps, Europe had ever seen upon the theatre of public affairs. They must have been acquainted well with the state in which Ireland was at this time.— W exlord was nearly three weeks in the possession of the insurgents, and their armies were, during the "hole of that time, able to keep the field, and brave his majesty's forces.—Had the French directory embraced the opportunity, and .pursued the plan which was laid N 2 out out for them by lord Edward Fitzgerald and others of the malcontents in Ireland; had they risked a few frigates and light vessels, with a proper supply of officers, arms and ammunition, with a few troops to keep the insurgents in spirits, Ireland would have b<en lost for ever, and ultimately Great Britain itself, since, we are persuaded that, in the present state of Europe, both islands must stand or fall together. They are naturally united, and the interests of neither will bear a separation. Providence ordered it Letter; and qrdained that from this moment, and by this' one latal oversight, the t normous fabric of French power, raised on the ruins of order and of justice, should now commence its decline, and should gradually moulder to ruin. With that kind of aftei -thought, that . sluggish and wavering pohcy,' which particularly marks weak and bad statesmen, the French, inthe latter end of August, detarAed a small force to the north of Ireland, under the command of general Humbert, tlr man of the-French guards (if we are not mistaken) who stands recorded in our volume for ir.9l as having been one of the first to enter the fortress of the Kastile on the memorable 14th of July, 178;). On the C2d of August, general Humbert landed at Killala, and the at pearauce of a French force excited, as might be expected, a general constei nation throughout the kingdom. 'J he numbers of the enemy were greatly exaggerated in the first accounts, and the invasion appeared in so formidable a light, that the lord-lit utenant determined pei>onally to take the field at the head of a considerable army. It is remarkable that the invaders were joined by very few of the natives; and those w ho did ir to their standard were scon
disgusted, as we have understood, since the strictness of French discipline but ill accorded with the licentiousness and disorder in which the Irish insurgents had been accustomed to indulge. The first movements of general Humbert proved him a consummate officer, and worthy of a great command. Though the British force, which was to impede his progress, was not contemptible, he judicir ously saw that to advance with confidence was essential to his future success. He proceeded, therefore, without loss of time to Castlebar, where general Lake was collecting his forces. On the 27th, he attacked the British general, and forced him to retreat with the loss of six pieces of cannon, and, a few men. The force under general lake has been variously stated; it was at first represented as amounting to 6,000 men, which number was afterwards reduced to about 1,000. The London Gazette says, general liike "had not yet collected his forces;" yet it is hardly probable, tkrt an olliccr so high in command should take a station so near- the enemy with a very contemptible force. After this success, the French advanced towards Tuam; buf their triumph was not of long duration; for on the 7th of September, the marquis Corn\\aliis came up with $ em in the vicinity of C;.stiebur, and obliged them to make a retrograde movement before day-break the following morning. The French general made a circuitous march to favour the flight of the rebel Irish, the majority of whom t'scaped by this manoeuvre. A column of general Lake's army, however, under the command of lieutenant-colonel Crawford, overtook the rear guard of the French, at Ballinnamuck, at about seven o'clock in (he morningofthe 8th, and summoned them to surrender; but as they did not attend to the summons, they were attacked by the British foices, when about 200 of the French'infantry thiew down their arms, expecting their example to be followed by the rest of their comrades. On crcneral CradJock, and some other British officers advancing towards them, howcer, the enemy commenced a fire of cannon and musquetry, which wounded general Craddock, upon which general Lake ordered up a fresh reinforcement, and commenced an attack on every part of their position. The action then lasted half an hour, •when the remainder of the Ri it sh column making its appearance, the French surrendered at discretion. General Lake adds, •* that the rebels who fled in all directions suffered severely." The loss of the British, in this action, was only three killed, and about sixteen woun.led and missing. When the return of French prisoners was made, the public were surprised to find that this formidable host amounted to no more, including officers, than the contemptible number of eight hundred and fortyfour. Three rebel officers, who bad assumed the title of generals, fell into the hands of the victors; their names were Blake, Roach, and Teeling: -about ninety-three of the insurgents, besides, were made prisoners. It has been said, that four of the rebels, who joined the invaders, were handed at Castlcbar for plundering, by the command of Humbert; and that one of the rebels, who attempted to massacre the prisoners, was cut down by the French.
What success the French directory could promise themselves from »o contemptible a force is not easy
to conjecture; but that they did flatter themselves with some effects advantageous to their cause is evident; for on the 16th of September a French brig appeared off the little island of Rutland, on the north-west coast of Donegal. About eight o'clock the crew lauded, and with them general Rey, and the celebrated Napper Tandy, invest, ed with the title of general of brigade in the French service. They anxiously inquired after the fate of the French army which had landed at Killala, and, strange as it tnay appear, seemed disconcerted on hearing of their defeat. They next distributed some manifestoes amonothe country people; but the Irish had already suffered too much by their reliance upon Gallic faith, and were not too easily to be led into insurrection. Thus disappointed in every view, the enemy re-embarked, and immediately quitted the Irish coast.
A more seripus attempt was soon after made by the enemy; but, like all their operations, it was ill timed and ill concerted; it was not made till the alarm was given, and when the Irish coast was closely guarded by the British navy. In the latter end of September, a squadron sailed from Brest, consisting of one ship of the line, the Hoche, and eight frigates, with troops and ammunition on board, destined for Ireland. On the I Kb of October they were descried by the British squadron, under sir John Borlase Warren, which consisted of the Canada, Robust, Foudroyant, Magnanime, jiithalion, Melampus, and Amelia; and which, in the latter part of the action, were joined by the Anson. At half past seven, on the morning of the 12th, the action commenced; and at eleven, the Hoche, after a gallant , M 3 defence,