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ganization appears to have been gradually extended by the emissaries of the Irish Directory into the provinces of Leinster, Munfter, and Connaught. The better to impose on the people, the system was first represented to be purely for civil or political pur. poses. The inferior societies, at their original institution, con. filted each of thirty-six members; they were, however, afterwards reduced to twelve: these twelve chose a secretary and treasurer, and the secretaries of tive of these societies formed what was called a lower baronial committee, which had the immediate direction and superintendance of the five focieties who thus contributed 10 iis institution. From each lower baronial committee thus constituted, one member was delegated to an upper baronial committee, which in like manner aflumed and exercised the superintendance and direction of all the lower baronial committees in the several counties. The next fuperior committees were, in populous towns, distinguished by the name of district commiliees, and in counties by the name of county committees, and were composed of members delegated by the upper baronials. Each upper baronial committee delegated one of its members to the district or county committee, and these district or county committees had the superintendance and direction of all the upper baronials, who contributed to their institution. Having thus ore ganized the several counties and populous towns, a subordinate directory was erected in each of the four provinces, composed of two members, or three, according to the extent and population of the districts which they represenied, who were delegated to a provincial committee, which had the immediate direction and superintendance of the several county and district committees in each of the four provinces; and a general executive directory, composed of five persons, was elected by the provincial directories, but the election was so managed ihat none but the secreta. ries of the provincials knew on whom the election fell. It was made by ballot, but not reported to the electors; ihe appointment was notified only to those on whom the election devolved : and the Executive Directory thus composed, assumed and exercised the supreme and uncontrolled command of the whole body of the Union.
The manner of communicating the orders issued by the Exe. cutive Directory was peculiarly calculated to baffle detection, One member of the Executive alone communicated with one member of each provincial committee or directory. The order was transmitted by him to the secretary of each county or district committee in his province. The secretaries of the county and district committees communicated with the secretaries of the upper baronials in each county; they communicated with the secretaries of the lower baronial committees, who gave the order to the secretaries of each subordinate committee, by whom it was given to the several inferior members of the Union. It ap. pears to your Committee, that the leaders and directors of this conspiracy having completed this their revolutionary system in the province of Ulster, so early as the 10th of May 1795; and have ing made confiderable progrcís in establishing it in the autumn and winter of 1796, in the province of Leinster, proceeded at that period to corvert it into a military thape and form, for the undisguised project of rebellion; and this project has been distinctly and unequivocally acknowledged by the aforesaid Arthur O'Connor, William James M'Nevin, Thomas Addis Emmett, and Oliver Bond, who have confeiled themselves to have been leading and active members of this conspiracy, as will appear more diftin&tly to your Lordships from the confessions which they have made before your Committee, annexed by way of appendix to this Report.
From the confessions of these persons it appears to your Committee, that the military organization, as they termed it, was grafted on the civil. That the secretary of each subordinate society, composed of twelve, was appointed their petty or noncommissioned officer ; that the delegate of five societies to a lower baronial committee was cominonly appointed captain of a company, composed of the five locieries who had so delegated him, and who made up the number of sixty privates; and that the delegate of ten lower baronials to the upper or district com. mittee was commonly appointed colonel of a battalion, which was thus composed of lix hundred men: that the colonels of battalions in each county sent in the names of three persons to the Executive Directory of the Union, ope of whom was appointed by them adjutant-general of the county, whose duty it was to receive and communicate military orders from the Executive to the colonels of battalions, and in general to act as officers of the revolutionary staff In addition to this establithment, it appears that a military committee was appointed by the Executive Directory to prepare a regular plan for aflisting a French arıny, if any such thould make a landing in this king lom, by directing the national inilitary force, as it was called, to co-operate with thein; or to form a regular plan of insurrection in cuite it should be ordered, without waiting for French assistance ; and it appears to your Committee, that a regular and digested plan of insurrection was actually formed and reduced to writing, in April 1997, which was given up for that time only, from the representations of the Executive Directory of the Union, that Ipcedy and effectual atliktance was promised froin France. For the purpose of arming this body, orders were given by the Irish Directory, that every member of the Union who had the means should provide himself with fire-arms and ammunition; and that such persons, whose means would not afford any other wea
pons, should provide themselves with pikes- which order ap. peared to your Committee to have been executed in a very great extent throughont the provinces of Ulster, Leinster, and Mun. iter :-in the province of Connaught the emissaries of the Union feem not to have been enabled to proceed farther in their system of treason than by administering oaths to the people; their further progress seems to have been obstructed by the vigorous exertions of the executive government, when rebellion broke forth in acts of open hostility. It appears to your Committee, that the Directory of the Union having thus established a revolutionary government in themselves over a great body of the people, issued an order forbidding the use of any article of consumption liable to the excise duties, which order was stated to your Com. mittee by the aforesaid persons, who had been members of the Tepublican Directory, to have been generally and implicitly obeyed.—And it further appeared to your Committee, from the testiinony of the same persons, or sone of thein, that an order had been also issued by the same Directory to stop the currency of bank notes, and to forbid the purchase of guit-rents payable to the Crown, which, by an act of this feffion, have been vested in the Lords Commillioners of the Treasury, to be fuld for the fervice of the current year, with a threat on the part of the Direc. tory, that fuch a fale would be difallowed at the approaching revolution, as an anticipation of its resources.
Your Committee having thus detailed the system of treason and rebellion established within this kingdom, which has been so acknowledged by some of the most active and confidential members of the Irish revolutionary Directory, will now proceed to open to your Lord'hips their dark and desperate designs, which have been confessed by them, of betraying iheir country 10 a rapacious and merciless foreign enemy
It appears to your Committee, that early in the year 1796 a proposition was made from the Executive Directory of the French republic, by Theobald Wolfe Tone, late a barrister of this country, who absconded thortly after the convi&tion of a man of the naine of Jackson, for treason, in the year 1994, to the Executive Directory of the Irish Union, that a French army thould be sent to 'Ireland to afliit the republicans of this country in subverting The monarchy, and separating Ireland from the British Crown. The aforesaid Meffis. Arthur O'Connor, Thumnas Addis Em. mett, William M.Nevin, and Oliver Bond, all of whom have been meinbers of the Irish republican Directory, have deposed to your Committee, that this was the first communication within their knowledge which took place between the Irish and the French Directories, and that the propofition originally moved froin France; your Coinmittee, however, are of opinion, that the communication thus made to the Irish Direciory through Mr.
Tone Tone must have taken place in consequence of an application originating with some members of the Irish Union, inasmuch as it appears by the Report of the Secret Committee of this House, made in the last feffion of Parliament, that a messenger had been dispatched by the society of United Irishmen to the Executive Directory of the French republic, upon a treasonable mission, beiween the month of June 1795 and the month of January 1796, at which time the meilenger so sent had returned to Ireland ; and your Committee have Itrong reason to believe that Edward John Lewins, who now is and has been for a considerable time the accredited resident ambala sador of the Irish rebellious Union to the French republic, was the person thus dispatched in the summer of 1795. It appears, to your Committee, that the proposition so made by the French Directory, of assistance to the rebels of this kingdom, was taken into consideration by the Executive Directory of the Irish Union immediately after it was communicated to them; that they did agree to accept the proffered assistance, and that their determination was made known to the Directory of the French republic by a special messenger; and your Committee have strong reason to believe, that the invasion of this kingdoni, which was afterwards attempted, was fully arranged at an interview which took place in Switzerland in the summer of 1996, near the French frontier, between Lord Edward Fitzgerald, the aforesaid Mr. Arthur O'Connor, and General Hoche. It appears to your Committee, that in the month of O&tober or November 1796, the hostile armament which soon after appeared in Bantry Bay, was an. nounced to the Irish Directory by a special mesenger dispatched from France, who was also instructed to inquire into the state of preparation in which this country stood, which army was then Itated to the Irish Directory to confiit of fifteen thousand troops, together with a considerable quantity of arms and ammunition intended for the use of the Irish republican Union : in a few days after the departure of the messenger who had been thus sent to announce the speedy arrival of this armament on the coasts of this kingdom, it appears to your Committee, that a letter from France was received by the Irish Directory, which was considered by them as authentic, stating, that the projected descent was poftponed for some months; and to this circumstance it has been fairly acknowledged to your Committee, by one of the Irish Directory, that this country was indebted for the good conduct of the people in the province of Munster, when the enemy appeared in Bantry Bay. He has confessed that these contradictory communications threw the Irish Directory off their guard, in consequence of which they omitted to prepare the people for the reception of the enemy. He has confessed that the people were loyal, because they were left to themselves. It appears to your Com. mittee, that after the attempt to invade this kingdoin in Decem,
Paris ;-accordirance, by a ration and correfroined by them to
ber 1796 had failed, the Irish Directory renewed their solicitations to France for assistance, and it was determined by them to establish a regular communication and correspondence with the Directory of France, by a resident accredited Irish minister at Paris;-accordingly it appears to your Committee, that in April 1797, Edward John Lewins of this city, attorney at law, was dispatched from hence, under the assumed name of Thompson, to act as the minister of the Irish republican Directory at Paris. That he went by way of Hamburgh, where he obiained a letter of credence from the French minister to General Hoche, with whom he had a conference at Franckfort, from whence he proceeded to Paris, where he has continued to reside from that time, as the minister of the Executive Directory of the republic of Ireland. It appears to your Committee, that in June 1797, a second messenger, Doctor William James M'Nevin, was disparched by the same Directory to Paris, with more precise instructions than they were enabled to give to Lewins, and that M-Nevin also took Hamburgh in his way, where finding fome difficulty in obtaining a passport from Rheynhart the French minister to enable him to go to Paris, he presented a memoir in writing to that minister, containing the substance of his instructions from his employers, to be transmited to the Directory of the French republic. M-Nevin has stated to your Commitiee the principal points of this memoir, in which it was recommended particularly to the Directory of the French republic, on their next attack upon this kingdom, rather to make a landing at Oysterhaven than at Bantry, as the reduction of the city of Cork would be thereby considerably facilitated—and he has stated, that it also contained' every species of information which occurred to the Irish Directory as useful to the enemy in their projected invasion of this kingdom, the particulars of which your Committee forbear further to detail, as they have annexed the said M'Nevin's confession made to them by way of appendix to this Report. It appears to your Committee, that the faid M Nevin having obtained a passport from the French minister at Hamburgh, soon after the delivery of his memoir to him, proceeded directly to Paris, where he had several conferences with some of the ministers of the French republic, in which he pressed strongly upon them the advantages of a second armament against this kingdom, in which an additional supply of arms was represented as necessary, from the seizure which had been made, by order of Government, of arms which had been collected for rebellion in the northern province; and the expenses of this armament, as well as of that which had already failed, he undertook, for the Irish Directory, should be defrayed on the establishment of a fepublic in Ireland : and in these conferences it appears to your Committee, that it was strongly impressed upon the French