The Land-War In Ireland (1870) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 533 pages of information about The Land-War In Ireland (1870).

But Archbishop Trench not only contradicts the authentic contemporary records, in picturing as halcyon days one of the most wretched periods of Irish history, but also wrongfully represents one of the saddest episodes of that history.  He reminded his clergy ’that the number of Protestants who were massacred by the Roman Catholics during the rebellion was, by the most moderate estimate, set down as 40,000.’  His grace seems to have been unacquainted with the contemporary evidence collected by the Protestant historian Warner, who examined the depositions of 1641, on which the story of the massacre was based, and found the estimate of those who perished in the so-called massacre to have been enormously exaggerated.  He calculated the number of those killed, ’upon evidence collected within two years after the rebellion broke out,’ at 4,028, besides 8,000 said to have perished through bad usage.  The parliament commissioners in Dublin, writing in 1652 to the commissioners in England, say that, ’besides 848 families, there were killed, hanged, burned, and drowned 6,062.  Thus there were two estimates—­one of 12,000, the other of 10,000—­each of which was far lower than the estimate of 40,000, which his grace calls ’the most moderate.’  It turns out, moreover, that the argument based by Archbishop Trench on the false estimate of those said to have been massacred, is wholly worthless for the purpose intended by his grace.  The disproportion of Protestants to Roman Catholics, which appears by the census of 1861, cannot be accounted for by the statistics of 1641—­be those statistics true or false.  For the proportion of Protestants to Roman Catholics was higher in 1672—­thirty years after the alleged massacre—­than in 1861.  The Protestants in 1672, according to Sir W. Petty, numbered 300,000, and the Roman Catholics 800,000; while in 1861 there were found in Ireland only 1,293,702 Protestants of all denominations to 4,505,265 Roman Catholics.  It follows from these figures, as has been already remarked by Dr. Maziere Brady, that there has been a relative decrease of Protestants, as compared with Roman Catholics, of 395,772 persons.  And this relative decrease was in no way affected—­inasmuch as it took place since the year 1672—­by the alleged massacre of 1641.



It is a fearful thing to undertake the destruction of a nation by slaughter, starvation, and banishment.  When we read of such enormities, perpetrated by some ‘scourge of God,’ in heathen lands and distant ages, we are horrified, and we thank Providence that it is our lot to be born in a Christian country.  But what must the world think of our Christianity when they read of the things that, in a most Bible-reading age, Englishmen did in Ireland?

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The Land-War In Ireland (1870) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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