HC Deb 07 March 1839 vol 46 cc25-61
Mr. Shaw

, pursuant to notice, rose to move for certain papers relating to the state of Ireland. The necessity of such a motion had been forced on his mind by the remarkable omission from her Majesty's speech, of any allusion to the present social and moral condition of that country. If he had not been apprehensive, that he might cast an air of ridicule upon a subject which he desired to treat with every seriousness, he would have requested the clerk at the table to read the short paragraph in the speech from the throne which had reference to Ireland. It was a cold, and even, as regarded the only subject on which it touched, not very intelligible statement, that some undefined amendment of the municipal corporations was essential to the interests of that country. Now, he would ask any reasonable man, in or out of the House, whether he thought, that the peaceable and well-disposed subjects of her Majesty in Ireland ought to be content and satisfied with that single allusion to their interests, and that, too, at a moment when notoriously, in a great portion of that country, there was no security for property or person—when the law was set at open defiance, the functions of public justice usurped by self-constituted and irresponsible associations—when all the relations of society were disorganized, and when civilization could scarcely be said to exist in many parts of that distracted portion of her Majesty's dominions. He had framed his returns for which he meant to move, with a view to present a true picture to the House, and to the country, of the present condition of Ireland—of the extent to which crime and outrage prevailed there, the causes which had principally produced the evils which afflicted that country, and, as immediately and inseparably connected with them, the conduct of the Irish Government, particularly during the administration of Lord Normanby. In the first place, the returns for which he should move, might be thought to go into unnecessary details, but if the House would kindly give him its attention, he should be able to satisfy hon. Members of their necessity. He should endeavour to show, that the returns which had hitherto been officially or occasionally furnished to the House were both inaccurate, insufficient in extent, and in many respects delusory. The House was aware, that under the provisions of the statute 56th George 3rd, c. 120, and the 7th George 4th, c. 74, yearly criminal returns were made to Parliament; the first by the clerks of the crown and peace of the counties in Ireland, and the second, by the inspector-general of prisons. These returns had reference to matters in which the assizes and quarter sessions were concerned. He should deal separately with the matters before petty sessions. As far as respected the assizes, and the quarter sessions, the returns pro- fessed to be the same, but there was a most remarkable and unaccountable discrepancy between them. He was quite aware how dry a subject figures and calculations were at all times, and he should therefore briefly dismiss this part of the case, but he trusted he should have the attention of the noble Lord opposite (Lord Morpeth), and of all interested in the Government of Ireland. Under the acts of Parliament, he had stated the parties to whom he had alluded, were bound to return the number of all persons committed and brought to trial, together with the result of the proceedings, and accordingly both the returns which had hitherto been made, professed to do so. Now, he had compared the returns for the years 1836 and 1837, and there was this remarkable discrepancy between them. The prison report for the year 1837 returned 14,804 such prisoners, while the clerks of the crown and peace had returned 27,340. Thus, there was a difference between those two returns of 12,924. The reports for 1837 included the number of prisoners for trial at petty sessions, and in that respect differed from the reports of 1836. In the year 1836 the report of the inspectors of prisons stated the number of prisoners committed and tried during that year to have been 23,241, while the clerks of the crown and peace returned the number to have been 30,360. Upon comparing those reports, and the particular returns from each place, he found there was a real difference of 10,460, which had not been returned by the inspector of prisons, for, though the inspector returned 3,000 and odd prisoners tried at the petty sessions, there was still a difference between the two returns of 10,460 in one year, and 12,924 in the other. He could not discover upon what principle these different returns were made, at all events, the returns were so incorrect, as regarded committals and convictions, that it was impossible to rely on them. But he went further, and contended, that even if the returns were correct, the evil would still be unredressed, that evil being, that the committal of persons made amenable to justice bore but a small proportion to the number of offences and the number of offenders. Therefore it was, that by the first motion of which he had given notice, he asked for a return of all the outrages, crimes, and offences committed in the different counties and cities in Ireland during the last four years. As yet the House had been furnished with no regular returns of the crimes and outrages committed, though from time to time such returns had occasionally been moved for. The principal returns of that kind had been obtained on the motion of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Bandon, and was a return of all outrages, crimes, and offences committed during the years 1836 and 1837, and of the rewards offered by the Lord-lieutenant for the discovery of the offenders. The return, however, in fact, only went over a period of eighteen months as stated by the inspector-general, but the objection he (Mr. Shaw) had to it was, that it was insufficient for the purposes for which it was required. In the first place, it merely gave a return of the offences returned to the constabulary, and it excluded the city of Dublin and other large places, which were not under the superintendence of the constabulary force. Now, the offences in Dublin last year would alone have given an item of 2,805 prisoners, therefore the returns to which he adverted did not show the actual number of offenders. Then there was a distinction to be drawn between the number of offences and the number of offenders; and it was to be remarked, that this return gave only the offences, which bore but a small proportion to the number of offenders. He had a paper which strongly developed this fact; it was a return which had been obtained by his hon. and gallant Friend, the Member for Armagh. His hon. and gallant Friend in 1836, moved for a return of all the persons committed to the gaol of the county of Tipperary during the years 1833, 1834, 1835, and part of 1836, distinguishing the offences for which they were committed; and there was a singular difference between the return of the offences committed and the number of persons concerned in those offences. He (Mr. Shaw), would take one single instance as a specimen of all. In the first three months of 1836, there were returned sixty-three persons as committed for murder, and ten for homicide; and yet the return of offences stated in the same paper, was only of sixteen murders and homicides; so that the number of offences or crimes bore no analogy to the number of offenders; and therefore it was, that he now proposed to amend the return in that respect, and the number of persons concerned in each crime, outrage, and offence, should be returned. But, again, the existing returns were not only insufficient, but in many respects delusory; and to this he begged to call the attention of the noble Lord opposite, because he was convinced that the noble Lord had been deceived himself, and had been made the instrument of deceiving the House and the public. In April, 1837, the noble Lord moved for a return of the outrages, &c., reported to the constabulary during the five months commencing September, 1836. The object on the face of the document itself seemed to be, to contrast the crimes committed during those five months with the number of crimes committed during, the corresponding period of the preceding year, and at the foot of each page of the return that contrast was drawn, and it certainly did appear remarkable that there should have been such an immense diminution of crime between those two years. But this he (Mr. Shaw) would explain. The offences committed in 1837 were stated to have been 739 in number, while in the corresponding period of the preceding year they were returned at 1,773. This was, at first sight, a striking diminution; but he (Mr. Shaw) turned to a note appended to the return, and of which the noble Lord had never apprised the House, by the officer who prepared it, which fully explained that difference. The Inspector-general said in a note, dated January 3, 1836, "The mode of reporting we now adopt will have the effect of excluding from the returns many trifling cases of larcenies and common assaults." This note explained the means whereby the supposed diminution was made apparent. And what was the difference thus made? Why, in July, 1836, the number committed was stated as 509, while in the month previous the number was 1,864;and it was because the system had been changed, that the whole difference arose. Such was the return made on the motion of the noble Lord, the Secretary for Ireland, on the 17th of April, 1837. There was, however, one still more curious return moved for; in the July after; and that was a return of the outrages committed during the month of June, 1837, and contrasting them with the outrages of June, 1836, the very first month in which the new system was adopted; and on that contrast there appeared just the same discrepancy, the number in 1837 being 509, and that of 1836 being 1,864. He had also found another paper of a similar kind; and indeed there was not any return either laid before Parliament officially by the Government or obtained on the motion of any hon. Member, with regard to outrages in Ireland, that he could find that this extraordinary delusion did not go through. He held one in his hand which had been laid on the Table by the Government, and it was a return which contrasted the outages in the months of November and December in 1835, 1836, and 1837; and there again the same disparity of numbers appeared. In November, 1836, it stated the number of offenders to have been 679, while for November, 1835, while the old system was in force, the number was set down at 1,764—just the same proportion as Colonel Shaw Kennedy Stated the numbers were when he made the change. Now, when that came to be explained, when this disproportion was found to occur at the moment of the change, not only did the sum total vary from 509 to 1,864, but there was a difference in the amount of common assaults, the number of which were returned in 1836 at about 500, while in 1835, the previous year, they were 933. Now, the noble Lord must see, that but for the change in the system of making the returns, there was not the slightest diminution of crime between the five months of 1834, during the administration of Lord Wellesley, when the Coercion Bill was proposed, and the five months which had been chosen by the noble Lord, for instead of the numbers being, as they now appeared, 5,837, the return ought to have been, in 1835, 9,047. The apparent diminution of crime in the ratio of one to three, which appeared in the returns which had been produced by the noble Lord, was owing to a change which had been introduced into the system of sending in those returns. Not the smallest reliance could be placed, on that account, in the recent returns, as exhibiting a diminution in the number of outrages. Colonel Shaw Kennedy explained that these returns were called for the moment the change of system occurred. He had taken the trouble of comparing the number of disturbances for a period of eighteen months, which he had divided into three periods of six months each. The result was this:—During the last six months of 1836, the aggregate of crimes in the nature of agrarian outrages, was 843. During the first six months of 1837, the aggregate was 904. During the third period, which comprised the last five months only of 1837, the aggregate of crimes of the same description, was 1,086. He begged to ask, whether this was a diminution of crime? Was it not, on the contrary, a fearful increase? The next document to which he should refer, was a return of rewards offered by the Lord-lieutenant. From the returns for the years 1836 and 1837, it appeared that the aggregate amount of rewards offered during those two years for the discovery of murders was not fewer than 519; and the remarkable fact also appeared that, of these 519 rewards the odd nineteen only were claimed. The sums thus offered in the shape of rewards amounted to 24,8301.; and the sum claimed was only 1,0501. With regard to 1838, he had already stated, that the noble Lord had not given him the advantage of referring to perfect returns. He could, therefore, only speak from general information. Nevertheless, his own private sources of information were considerable; and he had been in communication with well-informed friends in different parts of the country. Their communications were quite sufficient to satisfy his mind that there had been no diminution of crime. He had accurate information of no fewer than 114 murders, with minute particulars, which had taken place in different parts of Ireland during the year 1838, and he verily believed, that he had not received an account of one-half the murders which had actually taken place. In the North Riding of the county of Tipperary, he was enabled to state, upon the authority of the most respectable magistrates, that during the year 1838 the outrages of an insurgent character amounted to 265. In both ridings, during one month, the offences of this description alone amounted to 161. From similar authority he had ascertained that no fewer than twenty murders had occurred in the county of Tipperary alone during the last six months, and twenty-seven attempts to commit murder during the same period. At the last special commission there appeared no fewer than thirteen cases of murder, three of premeditated assassination; and no fewer than 178 persons were committed to prison charged with homicide. Some letters which he had received from a Westmeath magistrate gave an account of the state of crime in that county, beginning with the 28th of November last. The right hon. Gentleman then read the following extracts, and stated that he felt it to be proper to omit some of the names contained in the original communications; but that he should be ready to mention them (if called upon) to the Secretary for Ireland. Extract of a letter dated Feb, 18, 1839:— On the 28th of November, 1838, Patrick Wood was fired at with intent to murder him; on the 5th of December, 1838, Robert Brabazon was murdered; on the 24th of December John Boland, the bailiff of Mr. Ennis, was shot dead at his own door; on the 20th of December Patrick Ruby was murdered near Ballynalch, and thrown into a ditch; on the 2nd of February, John Alexander was murdered near Killenan. A statement is before me of the names of certain men who met to arrange the murder of—in the event of his ejecting some tenants from his lands. About three weeks since a threatening notice was addressed to Mr. Robinson, and another to Sir F. Hopkins. Copy—'Sir Francis Hopkins, there did a man come to look for you with a brace of pistols to shoot you, and if you do not be lighter on your tenants than what you are, you shall be surely shot, so now we give you timely notice, and if you don't abide by this, mark the consequence.' The following threatening notice was addressed to Mr. Thomas Gibson—'Sir, we take this opportunity of writing to you, as it is our wish to live friends with you, as we have done heretofore, unless you act contrary to our request, which is as follows—we request you'll put away Patrick Doyle and give him no further employment, as the people in giniril does not approve of him. Therefore we request you draw off your stock till you find a person of good character and agreeable to the neighbours, and was it not for your giniril character, we would not trouble ourselves wilting to you till we'd cause you to sustain a considerable loss. We hope you'll not put us to the trouble of writing again, or in a word proceed to any severity, which will be the result unless you comply. Choose for yourself, to have us your steady friends or inviterate foes.' Mr. Garratt Hope,—Take notice, that if you take in possession John Dowling or Tim Cassidy Land you will meet with a sudden death.' February 11.—I am sorry to inform you that the Riband system has commenced its operations in this neighbourhood. A tenant of mine had his arms taken on Saturday evening. Four men armed entered his house about 7 o'clock. Two of them presented their guns at his breast, while the others possessed themselves of his yeomanry gun and bayonet. Eight of the party remained without, and fired several shots on leaving the place. 'To Mr. Thomas Gibson, Sir,—We wrote to you al- ready, requesting you'd put Doyle away, but, contrary to our expectation, you bid us defiance, which causes us to write to you again before we'd take any proceedings against you, or in other language, execute vengeance. I say the tempest is gathering, and the thunder rolls over your devoted head, whilst the lightning is ready to blast you unless you instantly comply with our request. Perhaps you may seem astray for the reason of our demand, but the reason is, Doyle earned it long ago when he executed every thing tyrant Briscoe required. We would not wish to injure you, but should you refuse to comply, you may expect the severest punishment can be inflicted on mortal man. We are ready to meet you as friends or foes.' 'Mr. Thomas Gibson,—This is the third writing to you, and we see it is of no use; but this is the last. We did not think you would put us to this trouble, but since you did not put Doyle away, we will take other proceedings. This is the last advice to you, and I hope you will take it. Get quit of Doyle, or if not we will visit you and him.' February 17th, 1839. Mr.—happened to open his hall door a few days since, and found the following notice, which had been placed under the knocker:—'Take notice, if you part with Andrew Carey you may mark the consequence.' Carey was a herd, and Mr.—had intimated his intention of parting with him. He did subsequently part with him, and he has, in consequence, been obliged to take the sheep home from the farm in which they had grazed, as he could not get another person to take Carey's place. February 21, 1839.—I would have answered your letter sooner, but waited till I was able to take the informations on oath of—this I did yesterday, and that part of his examination which has reference to your friend Mr. U.—is as follows:—'A. C., now a prisoner in Trim gaol, charged with snapping a pistol at—,with intent to shoot him, having confessed to deponent his having done so, surrendered the pistol to him. He further stated, that he was solicited by two men who came to him from Mullingar to shoot Mr. U.—,but he refused. Mr.—also stated, that another man informed him that he had been in like manner solicited and refused.' With regard to the county of Longford, he would detail to the House some outrages which had taken place on the estate of Viscount Lorton, than whom, however maligned by the Irish radical journals and in the Precursor Society of Ireland, there was no more estimable landlord in that country. The noble Viscount's estate comprised several townlands, varying in extent from fifty to one hundred acres each, and it was, for the most part, originally let on leases for lives or years, made to one or two, but at the most three tenants upon each townland. Pending the existence of the leases upon certain parts of the estate, the original and immediate tenants (or their successor) from time to time cut up and sub-let to their sons and daughters (as marriage portions), to their grandchildren, friends, and relatives, and very often to strangers (on small fines), patches or portions of the lands contained in the original lease (a system, unfortunately for Ireland, too prevalent), so, that after some years, the ground became covered with paupers, too numerous for it to support. In such a condition was part of this estate found at the expiration of certain of the leases, and Lord Lorton, upon being made acquainted with the facts, and the wretched condition of the property and people, directed, that measures should be taken to improve the condition of both, and to make liberal allowances of money when requisite. This desirable object could not be attained but by making a pretty general clearance of the miserable people who had, from time to time, encroached and reared up huts upon the land, by enlarging the holdings, and placing upon them persons well versed in agricultural pursuits, possessed of some capital, and of habits of industry; and as a good deal of the soil was peculiarly adapted for the growth of flax, it was also his Lordship's wish that it should be cultivated, looms provided for such of the tenantry as might be disposed to use them, and, in fact, a totally different aspect given to the entire property and inhabitants. In the month of May, 1835, the agent went to the place with a view to commence the carrying out of his Lordship's wishes. The tenants were called together: the immediate descendants of the lessees, as well as the under-tenants or paupers, in many instances admitted the wretchedness of their condition (which was but too apparent), and their inability' to improve. A selection was then made from the general body, and some of the persons then found upon the lands were suffered to remain in enjoyment of their holdings, thereby giving them a chance of becoming good and solvent tenants, and encouragement was held out to them to better their condition, and be of good and steady character and conduct. Such of them as were found to be totally unable to cultivate the soil, were required to give up possession of their holdings, and at the same time were informed, that they would on clearing out, receive sufficient money to pay their passage to America, or any country they might remove to. A large number of the pauper families were in this way necessarily removed, otherwise they would have starved each other. The first of the town-lands upon which the arrangements were commenced was Crealoghter, and the first new tenant chosen for a holding upon it was John Brock, a native of Downshire, a man of capital, first-rate character, of most industrious habits, well acquainted with agricultural pursuits, the growth and management of flax, &c. In fact, so desirable a tenant could rarely be procured, or one, from his knowledge and habits so likely to be of use and advantage to the surrounding tenants. Brock entered upon his farm in May, 1835, perfectly unoffending to his neighbours, and only setting them a good example of farming. He was, however, not suffered to live long in his new holding, for on the 24th of June following he was most barbarously murdered in a field behind his own dwelling-house, at half-past six in the evening. The farm overlooked the village of Ballinamuck, and is within less than a quarter of a mile of it. The murderers, after perpetrating the foul deed, ran across the fields in the direction of the town; many of the inhabitants were out, and must have seen them. The widow, when running to the police-station, screamed as she passed along to the village, pointing out, that there were the murderers of her husband, but she was refused the slightest commiseration or assistance, without remark, more than as described by herself afterward on the trial—"They scoffed at me as I passed along." Brock was a Protestant, and no conviction was had, owing to the organised system of combination among the inhabitants of that country. After Brock's murder, his widow was removed, and a pension settled on her for life by Lord Lorton. The farm was again let to a man named Diamond, possessing many of the good qualities of Brock. He settled there with his little family, but his life was soon attempted. He was twice attacked going from the village to his own house. The last and most dangerous of these attacks (and which has rendered the poor man unfit for the use of any exertion during his life) was on the 20th of March, 1836, soon after he had settled. He received eight severe wounds in his side and body, supposed to be inflicted with a bayonet, and a severe frac- ture in his skull. Diamond still lives, but was quite disabled. There was another new tenant of the same class chosen for the second division of the townland of Crealoghter—Alexander Moorehead, in the month of January, 1837. His stock of cattle, consisting of cows and heifers, were driven by night from the farm to the adjoining county (Leitrim) killed, skinned, and tumbled into bogholes, where they were afterwards found. No trace, whatever was found of the offenders. Moorehead was a Protestant. Upon the townland of Shanmulla there was anew tenant chosen from his excellent character and good qualities, named Cole. He was placed upon the farm in March, 1836. On his way to a fair, to purchase stock in the very next month, April, he was attacked before he had proceeded far on his journey by an armed party, stabbed, and beaten in a most savage manner, so much so that his life was, for a long time, despaired of. Cole was a Protestant. No trace whatever was found of the offenders. On the townland of Fardroman, as to which some new arrangements had been made (but the majority of the old occupiers left in possession of their holdings), Arthur Cathcart, a tenant, and his Lordship's bailiff, was three times fired at, and ultimately shot dead near his own dwelling. He was fired at when returning home at 7 o'clock in the evening of the 16th of August, 1835; again on the 29th of December, same year, about the same place. He saw the men, on both occasions, running through the fields, well armed, three in number. Cathcart escaped unhurt so far. He was, however, again fired at on the 5th of October, 1837, on his return to his house, and severely wounded; with great care and attention he was nearly recovered of his wounds, but the determination was to put an end to him, and he was again attacked in the month of February, 1838, and shot dead near his own house. Cathcart was a Protestant, and had assisted the agent in making the new arrangements on the estate. No trace of his murderers, or of those who had previously fired at him. On the same townland of Fardroman, there were placed two other men as tenants, chosen for the same reasons as before mentioned—Rollins and Diamond; they were also destined to share a portion of the vengeance of these villains. On the night of the 18th of December, 1835, two heifers and a cow belonging to Diamond, were taken from his farm to the adjoining county and killed; on the night of the 3rd of March, 1836, three cows, one heifer, and a colt belonging to Rollins were taken from his land, and next day, on search being made, were found dead, skinned, and in bog-holes at some distance from his place. Rollins and Diamond were both Protestants. No trace of the perpetrators of these outrages. On the townland of Derrygee, where some changes were made, there was placed another tenant of the class before alluded should have the gun or something else, as they to—Hugh Moorehead. He got possession in May, 1836. In the month of February, 1838, an armed party entered his dwelling, as he was sitting round the fire in the evening, with his little family, and gave him with guns and bayonets several mortal wounds, from which he shortly afterwards died. Moorehead was a Protestant. No conviction of the murderers. The last outrage upon Lord Lorton's tenants was upon the evening of the 16the of October, 1838, when an armed party attacked William Morrison, who succeeded Cathcart as bailiff to the estate, and murdered him in a house into which he had gone, as is supposed, to take some refreshment, just at the end of the town of Drumlish, the market of which place he had that day been attending. Drumlish is about two miles from Ballinamuck. Morrison was a Protestant. Would the House allow him to read the evidence given by the widow of Moorehead, the man who was murdered on Lord Lorton's estate? That evidence was given at the Assizes only a few days since. It was as follows:— Eliza Moorehead was then called up. She was a young and rather interesting looking woman, decently dressed. On being sworn, she said—I am the widow of the late Hugh Moorehead; we lived in Derrygee, near Ballinamuck, in March, 1338; on the 14th of that month, about 8 o'clock in the evening, I was not the was at home with my husband and family, which consisted of two servant men, two girls, and my child, about five weeks old; at the hour I mentioned we were at our supper, when the latch was raised, and five or six men walked in; the first thing they did was to run up and strike my husband with a but-end of a gun; there was not one word said till he was struck and knocked down; there was a candle lighting in a long candlestick on the floor at the time they came in; when they knocked my husband down they asked for his arms; I said he had none in the house, that his gun was at the armourer's in Longford; they then struck him a second time, and immediately afterwards went up to the room; I saw with the men who came in, two guns, a pistol, and a pitchfork; the candle went out, and one man came and lighted one candle first, and lighted another afterwards; other candles were lighted by other persons; when my husband was knocked down on the floor, I sat down beside him; the party came and asked him for his pistols, and he said they were at his uncle Harriss's, in Rhine; they then asked me was there any powder and shot, and I said there was some in a teacup in the wallcove, and they went up and got it; one of them said, they should have the gun or something else, as they knew it was in the house; the same person then took a creel and stood on it, saying to the persons who were with him, 'Put me up on the loft till I search; they did not put him up on the loft, but he looked upon it, and then came down; the party did no more then but consult together at the room door, till they fired two shots; one of the shots struck my husband in the knee, and the other in the side; I did not see who fired the shot, for I had my husband's head down in my lap, and I striving to cover him, when I saw the muzzle of the gun over my shoulder; he was removed to the infirmary next day, and died on the 30th of the month; the prisoner at the bar is one of the party who came to my house that night; it was he who lighted the candle first, and stood up on the creel to look on the loft. Could any man deny, that he had altogether exhibited the most conclusive evidence of the existence of the most fearful combination in Ireland, against the rights of property and the due administration of justice? He would refer to the circumstances of one particular case in order to corroborate the statement he had made. It was a case which was already well known to the House, and which had lately filled the public mind—he meant the atrocious murder of Lord Norbury. It was not necessary that he should refer to the particular deed itself, for the circumstances immediately connected with it were well known. What he contended for was, that this was no isolated outrage, no ordinary murder, that it was not the act of any single assassin, but that it was clearly the result of that spirit of confederation and combination in the commission of crime against the rights of property to which he had already adverted. It was admitted upon all hands, that a more inoffensive, more benevolent, or more useful man did not reside in Ireland than Lord Norbury; and, in corroboration of that fact, he would read a short extract:— When fiord Norbury's body had been laid in the grave, the rev. Mr. Rafferty, parish priest of Tullamore, addressed the assembled meeting, and said, 'I have known this illustrious nobleman in private and in public; his life has been spent in acts of charity, kindness, and liberality, and every one here must feel and mourn his loss as he would that of his father, benefactor, and friend. No one act of his life was calculated to give offence, and, in managing his estate, every act of his was necessary and just. Nay, he would not say one unkind word, much less do any unkind act, towards any one. Such was the testimony borne to his character by the Roman Catholic clergyman of his own parish; yet that inoffensive man, upon whom the encomium he had just read had been passed, was shot upon his own domain, within sight of his house and family, and of which deed no trace had been discovered to the present day. It might be said, that chance or some peculiar degree of cunning might have favoured the escape of the murderer, and that a feeling of sympathy and sorrow had been universally evinced at the act. He regretted to say, the very reverse was the fact. Lord Charleville, who had received the first information of Lord Norbury's death, but who thought it might have been accidental, stated, that on his way to Tullamore, the nearest town to Durrow Abbey, the seat of Lord Norbury, whither he was hastily repairing, crowds were collected, who groaned at him on his approach, and in a voice and spirit of exultation cried out, "He is dead! he is dead!" From this circumstance Lord Charleville immediately suspected the fact, and turning to the gentleman who accompanied him, said, "Depend upon it Lord Norbury has been murdered." He held in his hand the in-formations of a person named Watson, which were taken in Tullamore shortly after the murder, in which it was stated, that the informant was in a public-house the night of the day upon which the murder was committed; that while there two men entered, one of them carrying a double-barrelled gun; that they called for liquor; that the first of them who got his glass drank the following toast, "May the man who shot Lord Norbury never lose a finger;" and that the second man drunk "Long life to him who had the courage to shoot a monster of the kind." These were sworn depositions, and required no commentary from him. Another person had sworn, that on the 3d of January, while sitting in the house of a person named Coway, Mrs. Coway and a boy named Kent being present, a stranger entered in the dark, and asked for lodging; that they were talking about the murder at the time, and that this stranger observed, "The Devil's luck to Lord Glandine; he earned and deserved his fate." But he had other facts which brought the matter much nearer home. He came to the family and relations of the deceased nobleman, speaking their feelings under the sad bereavement they had met with in his death. The right hon. Gentleman then read a letter from Mr. Stuart, the son in law of Lord Norbury, in which he stated, that he had been obliged to make an application to have a police force stationed at the house; that at the time of the dreadful occurrence he was unwilling to excite those feelings which he knew the stationing of police was calculated to do; but that, finding the house attacked for arms, he felt he would be incurring a greater responsibility if he any longer abstained from doing so, adding, "that the last sad crime followed by so many outrages in the neighbourhood, rendered such a step absolutely necessary for their personal safety." They might judge of the state of the neighbourhood from intimidation on the part of the people, when Mr. Stuart told them in that letter, that a respectable Roman Catholic farmer on the estate told him, that "He hoped to God he would not say he had been speaking to him (Mr. Stuart), for that it would be as much as his life was worth if he were to be seen speaking to one of the family." Mr. Stuart likewise stated, that Mr. Garrey, Lord Norbury's agent, had been put upon his guard by information which stated, that a person had been heard to say, "Lord Norbury is gone, but that's no good until Garrey is also killed." He had seen and communicated with Mr. Garrey on the subject, and he had permitted him to make use of the information he had received from him. He had put into his hand copies of documents relating to himself. The first of them went to show, that this murder, which it was attempted to explain away as a mere insulated case, had been the result of a long-formed conspiracy. Some months previous to the murder Mr. Garrey received the following letter:— Sir,—You are unknown to me unless by your character, but the duty I owe to my neighbour induces me to warn you of a matter which I have learned from an authentic source. It is this: there is a conspiracy laid to take your life, and a short time since, on your return from Nenagh, where I believe you dined, the assassins were in wait for you, and two of them actually missed fire at you, although, perhaps, the speed at which you drove prevented you from hearing it. Now, Sir, as you value your life, do not for God's sake be out at night, or alone, at any time. I know from others you are a brave man, but do not rashly expose yourself. You have a wife and family. In conclusion, I assure you, that I would sign my name to this, if I was not prevented by a concern for the person who gave me information on this matter, that I might let you know it. Mr. Garrey, in reference to this letter, said— It is more than probable, that it saved my life, for having occasion to go to Nenagh two days after receiving it, being detained till late, I thought, recollecting it, that it might be more prudent to sleep there. I have every reason to believe, that that night a gang of seven ruffians waited for some hours on the road by which I was likely to return home, for the purpose of murdering me, and two of them were actually taken up by the police patrol on their return home that night. The following is an extract of a letter from a Government officer to Mr. Garrey, by desire of Mr. Drummond:— Clonmel, 18th of January, 1839. I have only time to say I have received private information which, without going into particulars, makes it necessary for me to I inform you of a conspiracy to assassinate you. He would also read an extract of another letter from a police-officer, dated 5th of February, 1839:— I hasten to apprise you, that a person came some distance to inform me that he had heard two men conspiring to take away your life. I need hardly warn you to be careful of yourself. What was the result of all this? Why, that Mr. Garrey had been driven from that part of the country. He was, as had been said, a brave man. He had been an officer in the navy, and was wounded severely. He was sure he would not fear to face the cannon's mouth; but could any individual who led a life of continual apprehension of being shot at from behind a ditch or wall, not dread the danger of being murdered? Mr. Garrey had handed him a most extraordinary document, given him, he said, by a poor man in the neigh- bourhood, who told him at the same time, that several of them had been in circulation before Lord Norbury's murder. It was the speech of Robert Emmett on his trial before Lord Norbury, the late nobleman's father, who was spoken of in this document in the most opprobrious manner; so much so that he would not venture to read it to the House. Yet that speech, made thirty-six years ago, and published in Paris in 1835, was circulated in Lord Norbury's neighbourhood for some months before his death. What did he infer from all this? Why, that that murder was the result of that conspiracy and confederation, the existence of which throughout the country was denied. What had Mr. Garrey said upon the subject? Was not he an authority upon that point? And what was the opinion of various land agents throughout the country? Why, they agreed with him in saying, that that system of combination, fear, and outrage, which had existed for the last century under various names, such as White feet, Rockites, Terryalts, &c., still continued, and was never in greater force in Ireland titan at the present period. If the papers for which he asked were granted, he should be able to establish the fact, that Ribandism still flourished in that country. He had much information on the subject, but he knew that the Government had much more. In the returns made under Lord Wellesley's government, and up to 1835, there always had been a column to distinguish Ribandism from other crimes, but since that period that column had always been suppressed. He had received many authorised documents on the subject from various parts of the country. The name of Lord Hawarden had just been mentioned to him, a most worthy and excellent man, who had narrowly escaped in returning from the Clonmel assizes falling a victim to that system. He could mention the names of many individuals who had fallen victims to it, if it were necessary. He heard the observation of an hon. Member on the other side of the House. He could assure him that he did not want another coercion bill for Ireland; but what he did want, and what he had a right to demand, was, that the existing laws should be vigorously administered in Ireland, in order that some security might be had for life and property. If he were asked what he believed to be the principal cause from which emanated this spirit of combination, violence, and outrage throughout the country, he would answer, in the words of Lord Wellesley, that he believed it to be "agitation," continually employed to disturb and distract the minds of the people, and excite in them a hatred for every institution of law and government in the country. He could really fatigue the House were he to enumerate all the cases of violence and atrocity which had been proved to arise from the system of political agitation in Ireland. He saw, that the hon. and learned Member for Dublin cheered that observation. He would, therefore, trouble the House with an extract or two upon the subject. He found, that in one of those societies which had been disturbing the peace of Ireland as long as he recollected, and much longer—that in the Precursor Society, on the 18th of last month, the hon. and learned Gentleman, referring to the county of Tipperary, said,— They have sent a large sum of money to the Precursors; yes, the brave, the patriotic, the manly, and the spirited people of Tipperary, have nobly done their duty to the country. The acts he had referred to were the "noble acts of duty," with every one of which the hon. and learned Gentleman was perfectly acquainted; in proof of which he would read what the hon. and learned Gentleman said immediately after, in reference to one of them, and in extenuation of the crime:— I regret to say, that there has been a crime committed which makes the blood chill in one's veins to think of; but let it be remembered, that the murderers of Cooper and Weyland had been deprived of their land by the landlord. Was that language to address to this brave and spirited people? He would likewise read an extract from the hon. and learned Gentleman's speech, which would show in another point of view how the system of agitation affected the minds of the people and led them to acts of outrage. After commenting upon Lord Oxmantown's speech shortly after the murder of Lord Norbury, he said— Ah, Sir, Lord Oxmantown ought to be cautious on such a subject, for the people know how he has an estate. The method was the extermination of the people, the clearing of parishes, the rooting out the inhabitants, both males and females, until all were annihi- lated; not the killing of one, two, or three persons, when their relations might succeed them. There was not an acre of his estate which was not purchased in that way. To be sure his family had possessed them for centuries; but it was a part of Irish history that that was the way they got them. But the idea of killing one man to get at art estate—the man who could make such an assertion ought to be placed by the interposition of his blends within the custody of the law, and the Lord Chancellor should appoint him a custodee of his court. Why, I say, that the assassination which he speaks of is provoked by such language. If he wanted to tempt to those deeds which he speaks of with such execration, he could best have done so by the use of such language. The murderer who committed the crime is culpable; but the man who uses language calculated to provoke the commission of such a crime is still more culpable. Such language is a palliation for the crime. How dare he speak of the Catholic peasantry of Ireland in the manner he has done? He talks of them as of a band of assassins. Why, the fact, that he lives shows that they are nut so. When the hon. and learned Gentleman said this, did he even pretend to believe, that in Ireland there were no assassins who could misinterpret or misapply such language, men who gloried in their calling, and who knew no other justice than what the hon. and learned Gentleman termed, himself "the wild justice of revenge?" Had not Mr. Baker, Mr. Coope; Mr. Weyland, Mr. O'Keeffe, Mr. Brabazon, and Lord Norbury, lately fallen by the hands of assassins? Did not the blood of Ferguson, of Whitty, of Going, of the venerable Heuston, all peaceful ministers of God, yet cry to Heaven unavenged? And were there no assassins, then, to whom these words might possibly convey a hint? But he hastened to close this long, and he feared tedious statement, by merely glancing at the part the Government had borne in respect to the present unhappy and distracted state of Ireland. Had the whole tenour of their conduct been rather to discountenance or to encourage the system of agitation and its inevitable consequence of combination, violence, and outrage? Had they not, by the indiscriminate and wholesale exercise of the prerogative of mercy, shaken the foundation of justice? Had they not slighted the judges and offended the magistracy? And when the resident gentry, struggling to preserve their properties and their lives, amidst difficulties the most trying, and dangers the most imminent, had not the Government taken that most infelicitous opportunity to insinuate, that their duties as landlords had been neglected, and thereby stimulated the deluded populace against them? But he should return to the question of Ribandism, which he had just now undertaken to show that it still existed and flourished in Ireland. He would now read an extract from depositions taken on the 9th of February, 1839. The deponent states, that he is a member of the Riband Society; that it consists of county delegates, parish delegates, treasurer, body-master, committee men, and common members. He states how they are chosen; that the country delegates meet quarterly in large towns for the purpose of giving renewals of passwords, signs, &c. At the parish meetings members are admitted and sworn. The oath, amongst other things, binds the member to keep secret whatever he may see or hear, to be loyal and true to each brother, to fight for each other to death, especially against Protestants or heretics, or any man who may oppose his religion. He is not to discover or give any information against a brother; he is to hold himself ready to rise in defence of his religion when called upon. It appears, also, that, at their meetings, orders are issued by the committee for the beating, carding, or other punishment of any person who may have rendered himself obnoxious in any way; such as by taking land from which any member has been ejected; voting at an election against the candidate the society favours, giving evidence, &c.; and, for the purpose of punishment, people from a different neighbourhood are appointed, in order that they may not be known, and a person of the neighbourhood to point out their victim. The pass-warrant is written with contractions, so that none but the initiated can read it, and the pass-words are changed quarterly. The deponent states the names and addresses of various persons well known. The pass-warrant of this society he had received only two days ago; he found, on comparison, that it corresponded word for word with that read at a trial in Drogheda two months ago. There had been a denial of the contents of any such document. All he demanded was, that the papers should be laid before the House without names of persons or places. He demanded no information as to names. Papers without names the Government might safely give; but if they refused those, and attempted to blink the question, they would never get at the root of the evil. It was for him to show that the outrages continued, and had practically been encouraged by the Government. It was for them to prove that it was not so. The Government encouraged agitation, rather than discouraged it. The whole exercise of the prerogative of mercy in Ireland was for the purpose of defeating the ends of substantial justice. The Government had slighted the judges, they had offended the magistracy, they had alarmed the resident gentry, struggling as they were for their property and their lives; and in the midst of these dangers and difficulties, they had taken the infelicitous opportunity of appointing to the office of Lord-lieutenant a noble viscount who had, in his place in that House, declared himself favourable to the war then going on against the established church in Ireland. The especial objects of the patronage of Government were the very members and leaders of that general association, who were regarded, and, as he conceived, justly regarded, to be amongst the most active causes of the present state of Ireland. One striking instance presented itself to him that night, on the other side of the House, in the person of an hon. and learned Gentleman just returned to Parliament, whose professional character and talent stood in no need of praise from him. That hon. and learned Gentleman had been transferred from the association to which he had been the law adviser, to become the law adviser of the Government on the proceedings which they might have to institute against persons transgressing, or supposed to have transgressed the law. Up to the year 1834, many members of the present Government, by themselves, and through the mouth of their sovereign, denounced agitation, and stigmatised the agitators in Ireland. From thenceforward, had not those same ministers courted agitation, and become the patrons and familiar companions of the agitators? Were not members of the very associations the Government had formerly described as treasonable, and the noisiest agitators promoted to important offices of trust and emolument, in the magistracy, the police, and the courts of law? He had meant to refer to some of these appointments, but he felt that the climax had been reached by the recent nomination of a nobleman, who, though most estimable in all the relations of private life, was yet the publicly avowed enemy of the Established Church in Ireland, sent there as the representative of her Majesty, whose solemn, sacred, and sworn duty it was to uphold that Establishment; and the avowed public supporter of those whom his own colleagues had denounced as the habitual disturbers of the public peace, was sent to govern and tranquillize that country. In short, the patronage of Ireland, instead of being employed to promote the public service, had notoriously been bartered for votes numbered in that House; and whatever might be the individual inclination of the Members of her Majesty's Government, if they were not aware, they were the only persons in the country who were ignorant, that if they boldly discouraged agitation and enforced the law against the agitators of Ireland, their political existence could not be worth an hour's purchase. From Ministers, then, who had not the power, even if they had the will, to help them, the faithful and well affected subjects of the Queen in Ireland must turn to the Sovereign and the British public. The peaceable people of Ireland, anxious to fulfil the relative duties of their stations, must either incur the odium of absenteeism on the one hand, or be residents at the peril of their lives and the certain forfeit of the peace and happiness of themselves and their families on the other, they desired the protection of the law, but they found a lawless confederacy more powerful than the law, and armed with a dark and mysterious power to enforce its unlawful and cruel mandates. The violator of the law was secure of impunity, while the man who would lift his hand or voice against the tyranny of that despotic code was doomed to inevitable destruction. The murderer was toasted as a hero. The honest witness to the truth in a court of justice persecuted to the death. It was in sorrow that he had to bear testimony against his own country; all their interests are identified; he must suffer with its adversity, and could only prosper if it was prosperous. In common, then, with the faithful and allegiant subjects of the Crown of every class and creed in Ireland, he made that solemn appeal to the sympathies of this country. He earnestly implored a brave, a generous, and an up right people to consider, before it was too late, the sufferings, the shame, and the sorrows of a sister country, violated with outrage, defiled with the innocent blood of her own children, and crying aloud to them for succour. He besought them in the name of truth, of justice, of humanity, and of the God of mercy, without whom they knew—and it was their first consolation—a hair of their head could not suffer, nor a sparrow fall to the ground. Still let them not be deaf to their entreaties until that unhappy country ceased to be habitable, and was blotted out from among the civilized nations of the earth. The right hon. Gentleman concluded by moving for "Returns of all outrages, crimes, and offences, distinguishing the several kinds and descriptions which have occurred in the several counties, cities, and towns in Ireland, in each month of the respective years 1835, 1836, 1837, 1838, 1839, to the time of making such a return, showing the sum total of each description of outrage, crime and offence committed in each county, city, and town in each month; showing also the total in each county, city, and town, in each month, and in each of the said years; showing also the number of persons concerned in each outrage, crime, or offence, so far as the same can be ascertained, and a variety of papers illustrative of the moral condition of Ireland.

Mr. O'Connell

wished to move an amendment in the way of an addition to the motion of the right hon. Gentleman with the view of obtaining some further information—more comprehensive returns than those which should be made under his motion. He wished for returns of the same nature and for the same period as regarded England and Wales, and he desired to learn, from the authority of the Chair, the proper time in point of order for submitting such an amendment.

Mr. Shaw

said, he could have no objection to his motion being extended, as the hon. and learned Member for Dublin proposed.

The question was put on the motion for the first named return.

Viscount Morpeth

said, it certainly was matter of some satisfaction to him, upon whom unavoidably so large a share of responsibility connected with the subjects treated of in the motion and speech of the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Dublin University, devolved; and he conceived, also, that it must be something of relief to the excited apprehensions of the country, to find, that the long and repeatedly threatened explosion which was to overwhelm the Irish Government with shame, confusion, and ruin— which was to lay bare to the astonished country the extent and aggravated nature of the misdeeds of that Government, and which was to visit them with such tremendous retribution, had at last issued—in proceedings of impeachment? Not at all.—In a vote of censure? Nothing in the least like it.—In an address for their removal from office? Least of all things that.—In a declaratory resolution recommending a different line of politics? No, not even that, but in a motion for the production of papers. He would call upon all present to witness what had been the daily and nightly strain of persons who were opposed to the Government, at public meetings, at corporation meetings, at meetings for festive celebrations, in the columns of the press, within the walls of Parliament itself, whether it had not been of all law trampled under foot, of property and life left wholly unguarded, of the Church in danger, of the Throne menaced, of Protestantism at its last gasp, and all these had produced a vote for the production of papers. While the late Lord-lieutenant of Ireland, the Marquess of Normanby, was waiting, before he could well apply himself to the colonial affairs of this country, for the proceedings by impeachment, of which he had been repeatedly declared to be deserving; while Lord Ebrington was waiting for the address for the cancelling of his appointment, which the speech he once made within the walls of that House of Parliament had been pronounced to render necessary, no proceedings with such objects were brought forward, but a vote only was proposed for the production of papers, which was granted every year as a mere matter of course. The right hon. Gentleman concluded his eloquent speech by saying that nothing remained for them but an application to Parliament, and then he came to this House with a vote for papers—anything but appeal to a distinct verdict of the House—anything but bring about a change in the policy of the Government, which it sometimes suited them to condemn with so much vehemence, but so little cost—anything than the faintest wish of dislodging the Members of the present Government from their seats, which hon. Gentlemen opposite would do anything, and endure anything, rather than take upon themselves to occupy. As to the motion made by the right hon. Gentleman, he should be exceedingly happy to give him as much, if not more than he asked for, although there might be one or two items or expressions in the long list which had been read, which, if they were persevered in, would render it necessary to produce some papers, which it would not be expedient for the public service and for the interests of justice to bring forward; but he did not apprehend any difficulty would exist between the right hon. Gentleman and himself on this point, and he should be glad not only to produce the papers, but to give every information in his power. He might take the liberty of moving, at a subsequent time, for certain returns in addition to those for which the motion had been already made, and which applied only to certain years. The present motion extended only to those years during which the Marquess of Normanby had conducted the administration of Ireland; but as he should be prepared to prove, that the comparison of those years with preceding years would be by no means disadvantageous to the Marquess of Normanby, or to the country, he should take the liberty of filling up the large preliminary void, which the right hon. Gentleman had left unoccupied. The speech of the right hon. Gentleman had branched into two chief points of argument—the one connected with the present state of disturbances and crime in Ireland, and the other to the conduct of the Government in reference to that subject; and in considering the topics to which the right hon. Gentleman had addressed himself, he should proceed first to that point which related to the state of crime and disturbances which at present existed in Ireland. He did not stand up there to deny, or to palliate, or to gloss over those crimes of which the right hon. Gentleman had made so forcible a representation. There were many, and, indeed, he might almost say, all of the statements made by the right hon. Gentleman, but too true and but too deplorable, and what was the worst part of the consideration was, that they were by no means new. If this were an unwonted and unprecedented outburst of crime which the right hon. Gentleman had brought under the consideration of the House, there might be more hope that it proceeded from temporary causes, and there would be more chance of applying a successful remedy. Perhaps the substitution of other measures and of other men might give rise to a better order of things; and if he only thought that his removal from office would bring additional security to any one home-stead in Ireland—would still one shout of outrage—one shriek of suffering—would stay the up-raised arm of one assassin—or would divert one bullet from its murderous aim—he need hardly say with what pleasure he should receive the fiat which would remove him from its burthens. But what he was prepared to say was, that since the time at which the present Government had assumed office there had not been more, he might say there had been less, but he would content himself with saying, that there had been no more of insurrectionary violence or general crime than there had been within any other corresponding interval of time which the right hon. Gentleman might select for the last sixty years; and he would contend further, that through the whole of that space, outrages would be found to have proceeded from similar causes, to have been engendered in a similar state of society, and to have presented themselves in a similar manner with those which were now commented upon. He would make a rapid survey of the recent history of Ireland in respect to crime, which, in justice to the present Government, should be brought before the country, for the right hon. Gentleman had not said in express words that the state of affairs, in connection with crime, was worse now than during any previous period, although that was the inference which was wished to be drawn from the representations which had been brought forward this evening. He would state, what he was prepared to maintain, that for the last sixty years no corresponding interval of time could be fixed upon, more free from outrage and violence, than that which had elapsed from the period of the accession of the present Government to office. He believed that it was in 1761, that the first White-boy outrages were known, which, by the concurrent testimony of historians of that day, were known to have arisen from the inclosure of waste lands. It was said by a contemporary historian, "On the one hand, cruelties were perpetrated of which it might well be thought humanity was incapable, and on the other hand, Acts were passed for their punishment which seem calculated for the meridian of Barbary." In succeeding years, down to 1775, several of the White-boy Acts were passed, and then in 1786, that combination was succeeded by another, whose members were termed Rightboys, and it was stated by Lord Clare, in a speech delivered in the Irish House of Commons, "They prevented the payment of rents, and for years a landlord could not distrain a tenant, or set his land but according to the will of the Whiteboys. After these there came the Hearts of Steel, who, in Belfast, became so bold as to have attacked the gaol and rescued a prisoner, and to have committed other outrages. He need not go through the subsequent cases of violence which arose in 1791 and the subsequent years, when the association known by the name of the "United Irishmen," came into existence; nor need he now enter into the lamentable events attending the Rebellion which succeeded. In 1803 the outbreak occurred, during which Lord Kilwarden was assassinated; and in 1806, disturbances arose in Connaught against the priests' dues, and Chief-Justice Downes said in his charge to the special commission, that "Judges could not travel without a large military escort; the outrages did not partake of any political complexion, nor were they confined to any particular party or persuasion of the people." In 1807, the counties of Limerick and Kerry were dreadfully disturbed; and in 1811, a special commission was sent throughout Leinster and Munster, when Lord Guilliamore stated "The avowed object was, the regulation of landed property and its produce, to give a maximum of rent, prescribe the price of land, prevent the transfer of property, and enforce the observance of the laws of these mob legislators by torture and murder, in order that land should never rise, and property never change its possession. To all ranks were their mandates equally directed—to the rich and poor. To the gentleman of landed property they proclaimed that the land, which his ancestors had devised thirty or forty years before, must not rise on the expiration of his lease, or must only rise according to their arbitrary standard, although the price of every article around him had increased four-fold by a fluctuation of value which he could not control, yet the value of his land should remain stationary; and that if the former tenant were a beggar or a knave, he must be continued; that the land should remain unset, as in several in- stances it did, to the ruin of all concerned, as the landlord must submit to the terms thus arbitrarily dictated to him." In 1812 outbreaks in the same counties arose from the same causes, which afterwards extended to King's county and Westmeath; and in 1814, it was said in this House, by the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, "The evil which it was now proposed to remedy had not, he was sorry to say, risen on a sudden; it had existed for a considerable time; indeed, he might say for the whole period he had the honour of forming a part of the Irish government." After detailing the proceedings of the Carders, he continued, "I examined into the cases of many individuals where personal torture had been inflicted, and I uniformly found it to proceed from some dispute relative to ground, either by giving a price exceeding that fixed on by those miscreants, or by taking a farm of which the late occupying tenant had been dispossessed by his landlord.*" In 1815, a special commission was sent to Limerick; and in that year the murder of the Dillon family took place, which the House had heard detailed with so much force and melancholy truth by the same right hon. Baronet. He also said, "The records of the courts of justice show, that such a settled and uniform system of guilt, such monstrous and horrible perjuries could not be found in the annals of any country on the face of the globe, whether civilized or uncivilized. Time alone, the prevalence of a kind and paternal government, the extension of education, were the remedies which must be chiefly relied upon." In 1820 an account was given by Mr. James Daly of the state of Galway, and he said,— In a county which was for the most part destitute of manufactures, the population were almost entirely employed in the cultivation of the soil, and much of the existing distress had arisen from the large sums offered to landowners by tenants, by which the proprietors had unfortunately suffered themselves to be tempted, but which it was wholly beyond the means of the tenant to pay. The disturbances to which he had alluded commenced about the middle of November; renewed disturbances took place, in which some lives were lost, and a gentleman of respectability was shot by the road side in a public highway. The meeting of the magistrates was adjourned for a fortnight, and in that short interval, such was the increased audacity of the rebels, for he could designate them in no other manner, that up- * See Hansard, vol. xxviii pp.163–165. wards of seventy gentlemen's seats had been attacked and plundered, and there were actually not five seats in the whole district which had either not been entered, or defended and saved from depredation after an obstinate engagement. They attacked the police-barracks, and thirteen of the police were dangerously wounded in a desperate engagement, which lasted from half past nine in the evening till three in the morning. For above five hours was this band of rebels engaged with his Majesty's organized veteran troops. The country was studded so thickly with troops, that no man could stand at his door without seeing parties of soldiers.* In 1821, the counties of Cork, Kerry, and Limerick were in a state of almost insurrection, and in that year arose the formidable Captain Rock, and the party who took the name of Rockites. In 1822, Mr. Goulburn said, "In no county in Ireland was the police sufficient to protect the peaceable;" and in 1823, the same right hon. Gentleman again said, "Every feeling was in favour of the offender, and the only efforts made by the great portion of the people were to screen him from detection. Justice was defeated in every possible way. Where the criminal was secured, the witnesses for the Crown were either carried off on the approach of his trial, or such was the influence of terror, it was found impossible to induce them to give evidence." The quotations which he had already made, showed that most of the evils detailed by the right hon. Gentleman existed, and he thought it an aggravated form, during the time of all the preceding administrations, although the opponents of the Government in those days did not think it to be their duty carefully to collect an account of every crime which had been committed, and lay it before the country as the consequence of the conduct of that Government. In 1829, the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, made a speech, in which he anticipated him (Viscount Morpeth) by making a summary of the course adopted by preceding administrations. Let us cast "said the hon. Baronet" a rapid glance over the recent history of Ireland, trace it from the Union, the period when the retirement of Mr. Pitt from the King's Councils brought more prominently forward the differences of public men in regard to the Catholic question. What is the melancholy fact? That for scarcely one year during the period that has elapsed since the Union, has Ireland been governed * Hansard, New Series, vol. ii p. 92. by the ordinary course of law. In 1800 we find the Habeas Corpus Act suspended, and the suppression of rebellion in force. In 1801 they were continued. In 1802, I believe, they expired. In 1803 the insurrection for which Emmett suffered, broke out; Lord Kilwarden was murdered by a savage mob; and both Acts of Parliament were renewed. In 1804 they were continued. In 1806 the west and south of Ireland were in a state of insubordination, which was with difficulty repressed by the severest enforcement of the ordinary law. In 1807, in consequence chiefly of the disorders that had prevailed in 1806, the Act called the Insurrection Act was introduced. It gave power to the Lord-lieutenant to place any district, by proclamation, out of the pale of the ordinary law—it suspended trial by jury—and made it a transportable offence to be out of doors from sunset to sunrise. In 1807 this Act continued in force, and in 1808, 1809, and to the close of the Session of 1810. In 1814 the Insurrection Act was renewed; it was continued in 1815, 1816 and 1817. In 1822 it was again revived, and continued during the years 1823, 1824, and 1825. In 1825 the temporary Act intended for the suppression of dangerous associations, and especially the Roman Catholic Association, was passed. It continued during 1826 and 1827, and expired in 1828. The year 1829 has arrived, and with it the demand for a new Act to suppress the Roman Catholic Association.* But he might be met with the remark, that although the country was in a most disturbed state during these periods, the Governments of the time had done their duty in coming to Parliament and asking for fresh powers. They had seen that all these Acts which had been obtained had occasionally ceased, and in 1829 and 1830 during the administration of the Duke of Northumberland in Ireland, (he would not trouble the House with many extracts, although he might bring a catalogue as long as that produced by the right hon. Gentleman), he would show to the House what proceedings had taken place during the time when the administration of the Duke of Wellington and the right hon. Baronet did not deem it necessary to apply to Parliament that new powers or extraordinary remedies should be placed in their hands. The house of a man named McGowan, in Carrigallon (county of Leitrim), was attacked in the middle of the day by a daring mob, who beat him in a violent manner, broke his win- * Hansard, New Series, vol. xx., p. 741–742. dows and demolished an oven which he used in his trade as a baker. All this was done in the presence of hundreds of spectators, not one of whom interfered, and, more extraordinary still, within half a mile of a magistrate's residence, and in a town where there is a police station. The police were marched from the town that morning because there was a fair held there. This was on the principle of leaving a clear stage for the factious to fight it out. No wonder if the calendars are so much heavier now, seeing that the police, the only available witnesses in general, were sent out of the way on purpose to let the course of wild justice' have its way. One hundred and twelve prisoners have been committed to the county gaol in Clonmel in the course of one week. He quoted these circumstances, in order to draw a contrast between the custom which existed then, and that which had been since introduced. He did not mean to say, that the Government really wished the factions to fight it out; but the police being withdrawn, that was the inevitable consequence. At the Cork Assizes for 1829, "the total number of prisoners for trial amounted to 210; of which there are for murder twenty-one, burglary and robbery sixteen, rape and abduction nine. Ninety-six prisoners for trial at Mayo, including eleven for murder. 123 prisoners for trial at Galway, of whom thirty-six are charged with murder." The following resolutions were unanimously adopted at a most numerous and respectable meeting of the magistrates of the county of Fermanagh, convened under the presidency of the Earl of Enniskillen, on the 30th July, 1829:—'The magistrates of the county of Fermanagh, assembled to take into consideration the state of their county, deeply lament the melancholy occurrences which have recently taken place in a part of it. Much misrepresentation has, no doubt, existed on the origin of these transactions; but, from the fullest inquiry which they have been enabled to make, it is the deliberate conviction of their minds, that a premeditated attack was made on the peaceable and unoffending Protestants, by well-organised, numerous and tumultuous assemblages from distant parts, well armed, and acting under regular control, and which appears to have been part of a system co-existing in different parts of this county and elsewhere, plotted by factious incendiaries." "In Queen's County, at the summer assizes of 1829 (July 31), Chief Justice Bushe addressed the Grand Jury at some length on the disturbed state of the county and weight of the calendar. He expressed much regret that its appearance proved the existence of a spirit of insubordination and insurrection greatly at variance with the state of a county which had been hitherto proverbial for the absence of crime of this description. The Whiteboy system has made dreadful progress in other parts of Ireland; and the utmost exertion was necessary to repress a system that would erect the dominion of the mob over that of the higher orders. He would now come to the state of Tipperary, the county about the disturbed state of which so much had been said and quoted. In the Evening Mail, of August 26, there was the following extract from a letter dated the 24th:— You can form no conception of the state in which this hitherto peaceable barony now is; all our lower windows built up, obliged to live in the upper rooms, and in momentary expectation of an attack. You are, doubtless, aware that Mr. Tydd Abbott's and Daniel Falkener's houses were robbed of their arms ten or twelve days since. A meeting of seventy-five magistrates took place on September 7, 1829, at Thurles, when, on the motion of the Earl of Llandaff, they agreed to the following resolutions:— Resolved, That in consequence of the disturbances which have prevailed in this county tor the last three years, several meetings of the magistrates have been held within that period for the purpose of considering the means best calculated to arrest their progress. That at these meetings it was resolved unanimously, that the means and powers afforded by the existing laws were insufficient, and that the state of the country was such as to call for the renewal and application of the Insurrection Act. That since the transmission of our last memorial, dated 20th October, 1827, on this subject, to the Lord-lieutenant, notwithstanding the rewards offered by his Excellency for the discovery and apprehension of offenders, and the united efforts of the magistrates and local authorities to restore tranquillity, the system of outrage and daring opposition to the laws has increased, and continues to increase, to an alarming extent. That a great portion of the commonalty are in possession of unlicensed arms, and that bodies of armed men have appeared lately on several occasions at noonday, for the purpose of obstructing the execution of the laws, and threatening the lives and properties of all who are opposed to their unlawful proceedings. That such is the demoralization of the lower classes, such their confederacy, and such the prevailing system of terror, that all endeavours to procure information, to convict and bring offenders to justice, are vain and futile. That it is our firm persuasion that the existing evils call for the application of strong and vigorous measures, and that the Insurrection Act, or some such measure, is best calculated to restore order and tranquillity. That in consequence of the quantity of hidden arms in this county, and the difficulty, if not impossibility, of obtaining information by means of which they could be discovered, it would be advisable to amend the Arms Act, making the possession of unlicensed arms a transportable felony, giving all proper facility to the right of search, and limiting within proper restrictions the privilege of keeping arms at all. That it would be expedient at the present juncture to establish military posts throughout the country, to augment the police stations, as a measure calculated to prevent the further extension of the existing system of outrage, though at the same time we are firmly persuaded and convinced that no means short of the one we have already recommended will prove efficacious in the present calamitous state of this country. Now, the present Government had oftentimes been accused of neglecting and disregarding the representations and applications of the magistracy, because they did not always think themselves called on immediately to comply with their requisitions. The right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite had not hesitated to accuse the Government of a disregard to the representation of the local magistracy of Ireland. Here there was a distinct call on the Government of the Duke of Northumberland, with reference to the disturbed state of the country. Was it responded to? The House would see from the letter of Mr. Gregory, at that time, how far this had been the case. The words of that Gentleman were:— His Grace, the Lord-lieutenant will direct his immediate attention to such of the measures recommended by the magistrates, that he will meet their wishes for the augmentation of the police stations to such extent as may be found expedient, that he will consider and communicate the result of his deliberations upon the specific recommendations of the magistracy with regard to the disposition of the military. With respect to the Insurrection Act, his Grace feels, that nothing but the increase and extension of the existing evil, and the proved failure of the conjoint exertions of the civil and military authorities under the existing law, could justify him in recommending it. That his Grace hopes, that the efforts of the magistracy, aided by those of Government, will shortly diminish the extent of the disturbances, and, that the suggestions of the magistrates respecting the Arms Act will engage his Grace's best attention. And, in accordance with this letter, the act was not applied. It appeared, that in September a memorial was transmitted through Lord Enniskillen, Governor of Fermanagh, signed by 100 Protestants of the county of Fermanagh. The memorial concluded with the following statement:— The present apathy and indifference of the civil authorities, resident in our immediate neighbourhood, to our danger, compel us to lay this representation of our defenceless situation before your Excellency. The following appeared in the Evening Mail of Sept. 28, 1829:— In consequence of the numerous outrages which have disgraced the neighbourhood of Kells, in this county (Meath), a meeting of noblemen, gentlemen, and landholders of said county was held on the 19th day of September at the Sessions house, in Kells, when the following resolutions were entered into:—'It was unanimously resolved, that a committee, consisting of the following noblemen and gentlemen, namely, Lord Bective, J. W. L. Naper, C. A. Nicholson, A. H. C. Pollock, and John Farrell, Esquires, be appointed to draw up resolutions for the purpose of offering rewards for bringing to justice the persons concerned in any outrage in this neighbourhood. That the disturbed parts of said county be divided into districts, and that the resident gentlemen and landholders in each district be earnestly requested to come forward and assist, as far as they can, the magistrates and the police in restoring the public peace.' At a meeting of magistrates at Elphin, county of Roscommon, present, Lord Lorton, the Bishop of Elphin, Honourable R. King, Colonel Tennison, Dean French, &c., &c., 'it was resolved, that it is the opinion of this meeting, that the country is in an alarming state of insubordination to the laws, and that notwithstanding the active exertions of the magistrates dreadful outrages still continue to be perpetrated, in consequence of the spirit of intimidation which prevails, and which renders detection almost impossible. That we are determined to persevere in our exertions to put down this spirit, yet, from the limited power vested in us, we are compelled to call upon the Government to take the state of the country into its serious consideration, and to adopt such measures as it may in its wisdom consider necessary, to enforce the due administration of the laws, and the safety and protection of the peaceable inhabitants of the county. At the same time, we are of opinion, that nothing short of the re-enactment of the Insurrection Act will prove sufficient effectually to suppress the spirit of disaffection and intimidation which, it is to be lamented, so very generally exists.' The above resolutions were proposed by Lord Lorton, who stated, that he had called the meeting at Elphin on account of its central situation, in order to enable the gentlemen to return to their homes in safety; and that he put forth these resolutions with a view to check the evil which exists in our unfortunate, wretched, and barbarous country. A special commission was opened at Cork in October of the same year, to try the Doneraile conspirators, who had combined to murder three magistrates. At the Li- merick assizes of the same date, fourteen individuals were left for execution, and twenty-six for transportation. In May, 1830, a conflict took place at Dysart, which was described in the following terms:— May 31st. An encounter took place at Dysart (Queen's county), between the Black-feet and Whitefeet, in which four or five had their skulls fractured. The principal leader of the Whitefeet was Matthew Whelan, who has not been more than four or five days out of gaol, from which he was liberated before the expiration of his sentence of three months imprisonment for a riot. He quoted this for the purpose of showing, that such misfortunes had not occurred for the first time during the administration of the Marquess of Normanby. At the latter end of 1830, Mr. Dawson addressed the electors of Derry in these terms.— I am sorry to add, that some of the leading members in this coalition (to oust him from the representation), alike forgetful of the conduct of their family in Parliament, and of the peace of the country, have endeavoured with too much success to revive the no-popery cry. It is a mockery upon common sense to hear the Beresfords, who reluctantly came in at the twelfth hour to give their support to the Catholic Relief Bill, because their interests forced them to concede, now oppose my claims to the renewal of your suffrages; yet such is the conduct of this family. On every side I hear their clamours against me; but I leave the public to judge of the consistency of such men who wish to be Protestants in the North, and Catholics in the South. It was a very painful duty to witness the effects of the excited feelings of the country on the 12th of July, when armed bodies of men appeared in regular parade, and when excesses of the most frightful kind were committed—houses burned—men, women, and children driven from their homes, and forced to seek for protection in the bogs and woods. It is my firm opinion, that if as much pains had been taken to tranquillize, as have been employed to excite, the public feeling on that great question, the whole country would have been disposed to acquiesce in the decision of the Legislature. But as I cannot disguise from myself that the efforts to keep alive these feuds have been successful; and as I find, that my opinions are directly at variance with such principles, and that I could not represent with comfort to myself, or satisfaction to the constituent body, a county containing a very large proportion of men whose prejudices seem to increase, rather than diminish, notwithstanding the disappointment of all their predictions of evil, I have determined not to expose the county to the mischiefs of a contested election, in which these bad passions would be brought into fearful activity; and I shall, therefore, decline the honour of coming forward as a candidate on the present occasion. These things having occurred up to 1830; he felt, as regarded the years 1831, 1832, 1833, and 1834,—which filled up the remaining interval before the accession of the present Government—that he might spare the House the trouble of entering into any further details, because they must be in the recollection of Members, having rendered it necessary for Lord Grey to come down to Parliament for a measure of coercion, and because they must also hold in remembrance the forcible exposition of the state of the country then made in justification of that act by his (Lord Morpeth's) noble predecessor in his present office. One more return, however, he had, which he would give to the House. It had often been stated in that House and elsewhere, that the clergy were those more particularly obnoxious to popular violence, and that they had more especially been marked out for attack or intimidation during the official existence of the present Government. Now, during the administration of Lord Normanby, one clergyman, the Rev. Mr. Dawson, was barbarously murdered, another, the Rev. Mr. Beresford, was recently shot at. The murder happened within three or four months of our accession to office. If, however, these cases were contrasted with the offences, accompanied with circumstances of outrage, committed on the clergy during the years 1829 and 1830, a great difference would at once be perceived. This would be seen from the following,—

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