GOVERNMENT APPEALS TO THE PEOPLE.
The flight of the earls caused great consternation to the Irish Government. Letters were immediately despatched to the local authorities at every port to have a sharp look out for the fugitives, and to send out vessels to intercept them, should they be driven back by bad weather to any part of the coast. At the same time the lord deputy sent a despatch to the Government in London, deprecating censure for an occurrence so unexpected, and so much to be regretted, because of the possibility of its leading to an invasion by the Spaniards. In other respects it was regarded by the principal members of the Irish Government, and especially by the officials in Ulster, as a most fortunate occurrence. For example, Sir Oliver Lambert, in his report to the lords of the council, already referred to, said:—’But now these things are fallen out thus, contrary to all expectation or likelihood, by the providence of God I hope, over this miserable people, for whose sake it may be he hath sent his majesty this rare and unlocked for occasion: whereby he may now at length, with good apprehension and prudent handling, repair an error which was committed in making these men proprietary lords of so large a territory, without regard of the poor freeholders’ rights, or of his majesty’s service, and the commonwealth’s, that are so much interested in the honest liberty of that sort of men, which now, in time, I commend unto your lordships’ grave consideration and wisdom, and will come to that which nearest concerns ourselves and the whole.’