An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 eBook

Mary Frances Cusack
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 946 pages of information about An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800.
allotments as the commissioners pleased to give them, and that they might erect some kind of huts on these allotments, to shelter their wives and daughters when they arrived.  The allotment of land was proportioned to the stock which each family should bring; but they were informed that, at a future day, other commissioners were to sit at Athlone, and regulate even these regulations, according to their real or supposed affection or disaffection to the Parliament.  All this was skilfully put forward, that the unfortunate people might transplant the more quietly, in the hope of procuring thereby the good-will of their tyrants; but the tyrants were quite aware that the stock would probably die from the fatigue of transportation and the want of food; then the land could be taken from the victim, and, as a last favour, he might be allowed to remain in the poor hut he had erected, until misery and disease had terminated his life also.

Remonstrances and complaints were sent to the faction who governed England, but all was in vain.  The principal petitioners were the descendants of the English nobles; they were now, by a just retribution, suffering themselves the very miseries which they had so ruthlessly inflicted on the native Irish.  The petitioners, says Mr. Prendergast,[496] were the noble and the wealthy, men of ancient English blood, descendants of the invaders—­the FitzGeralds, the Butlers, the Plunkets, the Barnwalls, Dillons, Cheevers, Cusacks, names found appended to various schemes for extirpating or transplanting the Irish, after the subduing of Lord Thomas FitzGerald’s rebellion in 1535—­who were now to transplant as Irish.  The native Irish were too poor to pay scriveners and messengers to the Council, and their sorrows were unheard; though under their rough coats beat hearts that felt as great pangs at being driven from their native homes as the highest in the land.

One of these English families demands special mention.  Edmund Spenser’s grandson was now commanded to transplant, as though he to had been “mere Irish” and the very estate near Fermoy, which had been confiscated from the FitzGeralds seventy years before, and which the poet had obtained thus fraudulently, was now confiscated anew, and granted to Cromwell’s soldiers.  William Spenser protested; he pleaded his grandfather’s name, he pleaded his grandfather’s services, especially the odium he had incurred amongst the Irish by the way in which he had written of them; and lastly, William Spenser declares of himself that he had utterly renounced Popery since he came to years of discretion.  But even Cromwell’s interference could not save him; the soldiers were determined to have his lands, and they had them.

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An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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