Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Directory to make the separation of Ireland from the kingdom of Great Britain an indispensable condition of any treaty of peace which might be concluded in consequence of the negotiation which then depended at Lille. The better to impress his arguments, a second written memoir was presented by the said M Nevin, enforcing as strongly as he could every thing which he had theretofore urged to encourage the invasion of this kingdom by a French force, and to induce the Directory of the French republic to continue the war with Great Britain, until Ireland should be separated from the British Crown: and it appears to your Com-' mittee, that M-Nevin was further instructed to negotiate a loan of half a million in France or Spain for the Irish Directory, on the security of the revolution which they meditated, but that in

this object of his mission he failed altogether. It appears to · your Committee that immediately after the negotiation at Lille

was broken off, information of it was sent from France to the Irith Directory, with assurances that the French government would never abandon the cause of the Irish Union, nor make peace with Great Britain, until the separation of Ireland from the British Crown was effected ; and with fresh assurances of a speedy invasion, which have frequently been renewed since that period. It appears to your Committee that the said M·Nevin returned to this kingdom in O&tober 1797, when he made his report to the Irish Directory of the result of his million, and that they might rely with confidence on the promised succours from France; and it has also appeared to your Committee that in July or Auguit 1797, the Irish Directory received a dispatch from their minister at Paris, announcing the Dutch armament in the Texel intended against this kingdom, which was baffled and discomfited by the ever memorable and persevering valour of the British fleet commanded by Lord Duncan. It appears to your Committee that three several dispatches have been received by the Irish Directory from their minister at Paris fince October 1797 ; the two first contained a renewal generally of the former assurances of friendship and support given by the Directory of the French republic; the last announced that the projected invasion of Ireland would be made in the month of April 1798. And it appears to your Committee that a dispatch for the Directory of the French republic, earnestly pressing for the promised succours, was made up by the Irish Directory, late in December 1797, or early in January 1798, which one of them undertook to have conveyed to France; but that the attempt failed. It has been stated to your Committee by one of the rebel Directory of Ireland who was privy to this act of treason, that the dispatch was not to be sent through Great Britain ; but he did not explain to your Committee any season on which this assertion was founded, nor any other route · Vol. VII.

3 E

by which the messenger was to make his way to France. The feveral persons aforesaid who have so confessed themselves to have been members of the Executive revolutionary Directory of the Irish rebels, and acknowledged their traitorous correspondence and connexion with the Directory of the French republic, have endeavoured to palliate this branch of their treason by ascribing it, first to their disapprobation of an ad of Parliament pafled in the year 1796 to prevent insurrection, next to their disappointment in obtaining a parliamentary reform, and lastly by representing their disinclination to negoriate with France for a greater force than might enable them to subvert the monarchy, and retain the government of this country in their own hands.

The falsehood and absurdity of these pretences are so manifest, that your Committee would have thought it unbecoming to advert to them in their Report, if these avowed traitors to their King and country had not in part learned thus to palliate their treason from persons of a very different description in Great Britain and Irea land, who, fatally for the peace of this kingdom and the security of the British empire, have during the progress of this most foul and unnatural rebellion, from utter ignorance and misinformation on the subject, as your Committee must presume, publicly and repeatedly palliated, if not justified, that system of treason which had well nigh involved this once happy and flourishing kingdom in all the miseries of the French revolution. With respect to the Insurrection Act, your Committee have only to observe, that it passed into a law on the 24th of March 1796, and was not put into execution before the 14th of November 1796, on which day the first proclamation which issued under the provisions of it bears date, and that the introduction of it into the House of Commons was long subsequent to the period when it appears that the connexion and correspondence of the Irish Union with the Directory of the French republic first commenced; and that it was enacted in consequence of a system of midnight murder, robbery, and outrage, which began in 1792, and was so matured in 1796, under the influence and direction of the Irish Union, as nearly to depopulate a very considerable district in two of the provinces, of every loyal and peaceable inhabitant of it. With respect to parliamentary reforın, your Committee have to observe, that it was diftin&ly acknowledged by the persons, who, in their own phrase, have taken upon them to think for the people, that no reform of Parliament will satisfy them which does not necelsarily involve in it the subversion of all ecclesiastical establithments Protestant and Popish, and the gradual separation of this kingdom from the Britiih Crown; and that no plan of reform will satisfy them fort of an House of Commons purely democratic. It was further alleged by the several persons who lo acknow

ledged ledged their traitorous connexion with France, that the immea diate cause of their establishing a resident agent at Paris, was the rejection of a plan of reform which was proposed in 1797 in the House of Commons, which plan they said would have satisfied the people. But the palpable falsehood of this assertion appears by the Journals of the House of Commons; for these persons have all confessed that their resident agent was dispatched by them to Paris in April 1797, with instructions to negotiate a treaty with the Directory of France; and the proposition for parlia. mentary reform, to the rejection of which they pretend to ascribe the mission of Lewins, was not made till the 15th of May 1797. As to Catholic emancipation (as it is called), it was admitted by them all to have been a mere pretence from the first establishment of the Irish Union, and that if they had been enabled to succeed in their plan of reform and revolution, it would have involved in it equally the destruction of the Protestant and Popish religionthe said M.Nevin having distinály acknowledged that the intention was to abolith all church establishment, and not to have any established religion, and that, for his own part, he would as soon establith the Mahometan as the Popish religion, though he was himself a Roman Catholic.

With respect to their disinclination to negotiate for a French force to be sent into this kingdom of sufficient magnitude to conquer it-the idea of setting bounds to the ambition and rapacity of that power, if once enabled to establish itself here, is too absurd to deserve any notice; but it appears to your Committee, that the Directory of France have therefore declined to send any force to this country which will not enable them to dictate such terms to it as they may think fit, although it appears to have been urged to them, on the part of the Irish rebels, particularly by Lord Eda ward Fitzgerald, that the best expedient for accompliching a revolution here would be, to dispatch fast-failing frigates to the coast with small bodies of troops, and considerable supplies of arms and military stores, together with officers qualified to discipline the Irish peasantry; but from a letter supposed to be written from Paris by Lewins, the Irish agent, to the said Lord Edward Fitzgerald, which he read, Thorily before his arrest, to John Corinick, a colonel in the rebel army of Dublin, it appears that the Directory of France disapproved of any such plan of carrying their object--the terms of the letter are: “ The trustees have refused to advance the goool. on the security; they will not make any partial advance till they have the whole fum ready."

Upon a review of this subject, of the evidence which has been collected, and of all those facts of notoriety which have taken place in this kingdom for the last eight years, your Committee feel themselves fully warranted to state, that there has been, during 3 E 2

the

the whole of that period, a feditious and treasonable faction in this country, whose object has been to fubvert the conftitution in church and state, and to separate Ireland from the British Crown, by inculcating the principles, and adopting the means which were successfully employed to abolish the religion, extirpate the nobility, and subvert the inonarchy of France.

Your Committee here allude to the addresses which were forwarded at an early period, from this faction to the French National Assembly, to their commemorations of French festivals, particularly the 14th of July, to their attempts made to pervert îhe loyal institution of volunteers to the purposes of rebellion, by reviving it on the system of the French national guards; to the institution of the original societies of United Irithmen, their various feditious and treasonable publications in favour of the French and republican system, vilifying and degrading the Government and Parliament of their own country, particularly by representing the House of Commons, as it is conftituted, not to be a legitimate branch of the Legislature ; that it was in its original formation a violation of the rights of the people, and has continued to be an usurpation on them ; to their persevering industry in issuing and circulating these and all other publications at the cheapest rate amongst the lower orders of the people, which could alienate their minds from the duty of allegiance, and incul. cate the principles of insubordination, revolt, and irreligion; and to their attempts, in imitation of the French revolutionists, to form a national convention. I

Your Committee further allude to the system of organization which they have already detailed, which appears to them to have been formed by this faction when their open attempts to subvert the constitution were frustrated by the Convention Act; and to the secret obligations which they imposed upon their associates, to elude detection and punishment.

Your Committee farther allude to the measures which were pursued by the same faction to intimidate the resident gentlemen of the country by midnight attacks, in order to drive them from their houses, or to enforce their connivance or support-a course which your Committee understand was pursued with fatal success in France; and to the impudent falsehoods and calumnies propagated with similar industry by the same faction, and by their partisans, representing the means to which the Government and Parliament were compelled to resort, for the suppression of midnight robbery and murder, and for the discomfture of rebellion, as the source of these complicated evils.

Your Committee farther allude to the insidious address used by the same faction, in turning to their purposes the religious feuds, prejudices, and distinclions of the country, which were revived prin

cipally

in which lower

loyal

cipally by their wicked machinations; at one time flattering the pallions and hopes of the higher order of the Catholics, at the moment in which they meditated their destruction, and at another, stimulating the lower ranks to indiscriminate acts of outrage and vengeance against their loyal fellow-subjects.

Your Committee farther allude to the plan formed by the same faction, of arraying and regimenting the whole mass of the people, of supplying them with arms and ammunition forced from the loyal, and of establishing in every part of the country manufactories of pikes to be distributed amongst the lowest ranks of the people.

Your Committee farther allude to the early disposition which appeared in the leaders of the same faction to correspond with the ruling powers of France, to obiain French aslistance in their revolutionary projects, and to the regular system which they afterwards established, for connecting themselves with the Executive Directory of the French republic, wherein they appear to have acted as the ruling powers of the country, negotiating treaties and loans of .. money with foreign states.

Your Committee farther allude to the repeated attempts which have been made by the same faction to seduce the King's troops of all descriptions from their allegiance, and their attempts to deter his Majesty's loyal subjects from enrolling themselves in the yeomanry corps; to their plans of insurrection, massacre, and confiscation, which have been clearly proved against some of their leaders, who have been convicted of treason by due course of law, and have been confessed by others of them before your Committee ; and above all, to the desperate project of the same faction to corrupt the youth of the country, by introducing their organized system of treason into the university ; which attempt was happily frustrated by the timely interposition of the visitors of Trinity College, and by the high spirit of honour and loyalty of the great body of students in that learned seminary.

Your Committee farther allude to the various insurrections which were meditated, as well as those which have actually taken place; to the late destructive rebellion, and the present invasion by a French force, which your Comınittee feel themselves warranted in stating accurately to correspond with the plan of revolutionizing this country, which was recommended by Lord Ed. ward Fitzgerald.

It appears to your Committee, that the Government and Legirlature being sensible of the designs thus meditated against the constitution of this kingdom, felt themselves bound to resist every demand which was made upon them by the same faction, with a view to effe & their traitorous purposes; and as it appcars from the confession of some of the most leading and notorious traitors engaged in this

conspiracy,

« AnteriorContinuar »