THE CHARACTER OF THE PROTESTANTS OF IRELAND, Impartially set forth in a LETTER, In Answer to Seven QUERIES; Their Original, Humour, Interest, Losses, Present Condition, Apprehensions, and Resolutions. With Remarks upon the great Charge England is like to be at with those People, and the Destruction of that Kingdom by Famine, if not prevented.

LONDON, Printed for Dorman Newman, at the King's Arms in the Poultrey, MDCLXXXIX.



THat I have not sooner performed my Promise, and your Commands, has been the difficul­ty of your Injunctions; which were, That I should give a full Account of these Seven Particulars:

First, the Original. Secondly, the Humour. Third­ly, the Interest. Fourthly, the Losses. Fifthly, the present Condition. Sixthly, the Apprehensions. And lastly, the Resolutions for the future Settlement of the Gentlemen of Ireland.

Since I undertook the Work, I thought my self obli­ged to be as perfect in it, as some few Weeks would admit; but when I had spent some, and almost as many as I designed for the whole, I found my Weeks must be turned into Months, and my Enquiry in Lon­don reach to Bristol, and other parts of the Kingdom; for that I found such different Accounts even in mat­ter [Page 2] of Fact, that I could not well depend upon any thing: And to say the truth, at my first onset I was much discouraged by the diversity of Characters I re­ceived from them, both of things and themselves; which after some time, I found might easily be recon­ciled, as you will find in the sequel of this Discourse. But to detain you no longer, in setting forth my Con­duct in this Irish Travel, I shall come to your Parti­culars:

First, As to the Original of those, we most improperly call British Protestants, who are of all Na­tions, and might be rather, with St. Iames, the twelve Tribes scattered through the Earth. I have discoursed with Dutch, French, Germans, Scotch, Welsh, and with as many born in our foreign Plantations, New-England, Virginia, Barbadoes, &c. And to complete this diver­sity among them, those of our own Nation being of different Counties, are so in their Humours, as we know by experience among our selves.

Now these Gentlemen of Ireland being composed, or rather compact of such variety, I do not wonder, as most do, that they are so dis-joint in their Affecti­ons and Representations of each other. A common Calamity is more equally considered by indifferent Persons, than by them who lie under it; for though it be common in the Affliction, yet it is particular in the several Attempts of each to get out of it; and the frailty of our Nature is apt to lead us beyond our Charity to our Neighbour, when we want it our selves; a Fault no ways to be extenuated, yet too common, and I fear too much the practice of some among these Gentlemen: But I have digressed. These several Nati­ons and People I before mentioned, are such as they [Page 3] call New Interest-Men, and came into Ireland by and since Cromwel's Conquest, after the Rebellion of Forty One. These Men, though of such differing Interests among themselves, yet are a joint Body and separate from the other Interest of the Protestant Party of that King­dom, which they call the Old Interest; and they are the Off-spring of the several Soldiers and Adventurers, since Strongbow's going into that Kingdom. These Men, it seems, thought their Interest infallible; no questioning of their Title, because it was the Forfei­tures of several Rebellions in the time of Popery, and of that in Queen Elizabeth's Reign, when the Irish call'd in the Spaniards: But the Rebellion of Forty One they palliate with several Concessions and Articles made, though they were, when the Irish Saint (the then Duke of York) stood their Champion, found fri­volous. But these Gentlemen of the Old Interest, I I find like our Welsh here, value themselves above the other they call Cromwelists; and on the other hand, the Cromwelists look on them as mungreliz'd by the Irish; among whom, many of them have match'd, and therefore in Cromwel's time not much trusted; though now, I think, the New and Old Interest unite against the common Enemy: I mean without the least respect of Consanguinity or Affinity, the Irish Papist being odious to them both.

Thus in short (for I presume you expect not the Genealogy of the Protestants of Ireland) I have given you the present Interest and Place from whence they derive themselves.

Secondly, For the Humour and Disposition of the People, I find them in their Religion much like us of England, of different Persuasions, yet not in any pro­portion [Page 4] with us for Dissenters: The North of Ireland be­ing generally Scotch, have most Presbyterians, but in other parts of the Kingdom Dissenters are thin; insomuch that in some is Counties not one Dissenting Meeting: And however they use one another in their Characters, they shame us in one thing, that is, in giving respect to their Clergy.

They are of a generous temper, and even now in their Wants, may be seen to have been a People of great Hospitality, lived in great Plenty, and therefore the more unfit to undergo Want; and if my Observa­tion be right, are apter to starve than complain, and too haughty to undertake that they call a mean way of earning their living. I have discoursed with some that were but Farmers of Ten or Twenty pounds ster­ling a year, whom I questioned how it chanced they were not gone in the Army for Ireland; their answer was, They could get no Command, and they knew not how to live upon Six-pence a day; but if they could have of their own Country to command them, (for none else they think will fight,) they would go over Voluntiers. This Spanish Humour I find in them; but that which nourished it, is that which the Spaniard wants, plenty of Provisions both for Back and Belly. Such a Tenant, as I mentioned before, of Ten pounds a year, lives better than a Free-holder in England of an Hundred pounds a year Estate; keeps a couple of good Geldings in his Stable, good Drink always in his Celler, and better clad than our Yeomen of Kent. This may serve to shew the Humour and Disposition of the Peo­ple, and the cause of it; only this I must add, That I believe them a very stout and warlike People, which is occasioned by their being like the Hungarians, in con­tinual [Page 5] Action; the Irish being upon the least occasion up in Arms, and running out Tories, which the Eng­lish are in continual hazard of, and as furiously pur­sue. Having heard much talk of these Tories, I made particular enquiry into the Nature and Practice of that sett of Men, which I shall give you a short account of, as they have stood since Cromwel's Conquest; for no farther I shall look back in all my Relation of Ire­land.

These Men, after the reducing of Ireland, and the Lord Musgrave (since Earl of Clancarty) laying down Arms, had no Commission, and therefore called Tories. They came not in upon Musgrave's Articles, because there were no Terms for any guilty of Murther, of which most of them that staid out Tories were in Crom­wel's Government, they were so hunted, and the Irish that were under Protection so punished for any Robbery they committed in the Parish where it was done, that they were soon destroyed: But upon every Alteration in England, some ran out, as if they were immediately to recover the Kingdom: And so they did upon King Charles the Second's Restauration, ex­pecting, as they then gave out, to be restored the sooner for being found in their defence against the English, who they then hoped would be judged the greater Rebels; so after, upon the Dutch War, several got up, insomuch that the Farmers of the Excise had Abate­ments for the Ravage these made in the Country hin­dering Affairs.

There was one Redmond Hanly, that kept out seve­ral years, though great Attempts of the Army conti­nually made to take him; and another in Munster, called Colonel Poore, with many others, in all Parts of [Page 6] the Kingdom, who kept the English in continual Action, and to me seems a Reason for making them bold and good Soldiers, and most serviceable against the Irish, as having been their former Masters, and Conquerors: And Trogus Pompeius relates a Story of a Country, which being over-run with Slaves, was not reduced, till laying aside other Arms than those of Chastisement, their Masters reminded them of their servile Fears, and so at last regained their Empire over them, as their an­cient Masters, not Competitors of the Field.

And I find many of Oliver's Soldiers alive, and free enough to go against the Irish, if they had but English Commanders of their own Countrey; they complai­ning much of some that are sent over, yet modestly expressed; for I find them of a quiet and obedient Disposition.

Thirdly, For their Interest, I find them unani­mous for their Present Majesties: and I have wondred in so great a number, as I have personally, and by proxy conversed with, that I should never find but four Men, so much as scrupling our present Happiness, and of them three Clergy-Men.

The Character, I first gave you of their Original, is Argument enough for their Affection to our present Go­vernment, since they are stripp'd of all by the late King, of whom they relate such Things, as are not fit to come among humane, much less Christian Ears.

If the English, or Protestants of Ireland are consi­dered in their personal or real Estates, their Interest that way, I find to be thus: Few of them had any thing in England, the Temptation of buying Land cheap, and Rents better payed than in England, made them lay out all there, and consequently few monied Men [Page 7] among them. Those that did not purchase, laid out in Improvements. Plate I do not find they so much affected, as we in England; yet few Families without some; Jewels were less in use among them. Those of personal Estates had generally great Stocks of Cattel; and Land being cheap, the Country for these late Years was over-burthened with them.

But that which is scarce to be credited in so plentiful a Country, situate beyond any Place in the Christian World for Trade, there should be no Merchants: In all my Enquiry, I cannot find one that may bear the Character of a compleat Merchant. They tell me, there were two or three in Dublin of universal Trade; but growing rich, took Honours, and purchased Lands; since them there appears nothing but Factors, and Home-bred-men, like our Planters in the West-Indies: And this is to me the Reason, why Ireland is so con­temptible in its Trade, that might otherwise be the most flourishing Empire in Europe, there being so few Dealers resident in that Kingdom. The Interest of those fled from thence, is comprehended under those already named in Stock and real Estate; and that brings me to your fourth Head, the Losses of the Prote­stants of Ireland.

And here I find both you and I have been not only mistaken, but prejudicate. The evil Characters of some, and too light Behaviour of others, gives, I confess, too great occasion of censuring that People: But if ten righteous Men would have prevented Sodom's Condemnation, many tens of ill Men should not con­demn a Kingdom, where there is more hundreds de­serving.

[Page 8] Fourthly, Their Losses, and deplorable Condition, seems exceeding any modern Account; and the more unhappy, since 'tis scarce perceived. We pitied the French Fugitives more than these, that are our Bone and our Flesh; and the Reason seems to be, that every one of them was distinguished by Garb and Speech, but these from Ireland are by neither, and so in the Croud not discerned; nor shall we hear them complain, for the Reasons I have before mentioned: but to come to their Losses. I need not tell you what the List given into the House of Commons mentions, to which some have made Exceptions, that the Returns are favoura­ble; but that will not be believed by those, that dis­course the Gentlemen concerned in them; a more dero­gating Temper, I confess, I never saw among a People, not in the least inclinable to favour one another. I am loth to say, it is giving most of them the Lye, to have honourable Thoughts of their best Men: But I would not make so general a Reflexion, for I have met with some worthy and intelligent Men among them; and such as complain of some busie Men, whose Employments of Agency and Solliciting, gave them the Opportunity and Practice of characterizing Men, in which they were too free, as well as faulty in possessing great Men with: but to return. The Losses of the Nobility and Gentry, were most in their real E­states; few of them had Money, and not considerable in Plate or Iewels; they that had any of the three, did in time send it over for England.

That which I take to be as considerable, or more than the real Estates, is the loss of personal Estates in Stock; and that is vastly beyond our common Esti­mation, and will, perhaps, be so in Acceptation: [Page 9] But what I shall relate, I have such good Authority for, that I question not the Truth. It is usual in that King­dom for a Tenant that pays but twenty pounds a year, to have from an hundred to two hundred Head of black Cattel on it; and for others that pay not two hundred pounds a year Rent, to make more than three hun­dred a year of their Wool. I should exceed the bounds of a Letter, to enumerate all on this Head: but upon the whole, at a moderate Computation, it is believed they have lost in Stock, and other personal Estates, to the value of more than eight millions Sterling, allowing but an hundred pounds Sterling for a Family: Now these Men are more to be pitied than they who are out of their Lands, for that will be found again, (though they believe of little value;) but those that have lost their Stocks, are utterly ruin'd without hopes of Reparation; and under this Qualification, they com­pute more than eighty thousand Families, one half of which are still in Ireland, more to be lamented than those that are here. I mention nothing of the Cler­gy's Livings, nor Men of civil Employments, because they come under the head of Free-holders being for Life; however it is worse with them than Gentlemen of Estates, in regard they can make no disposition to purchase Bread, as those of Lands may.

Fifthly, But now to your fifth Query, what their present Condition, and that, after what has before been related, must be bad, and I doubt worse than we ima­gine; for they tell you, most of them came over when they could bring little with them, but the Cloths on their Backs; they have been here some ten Months, and most six Months; they acknowledge the Charity of London great, but say little of the other Parts of [Page 10] the Kingdom; the whole is said not to exceed thirty thousand Pounds: And a greater Gift than that, they say, was offered by them in Ireland, viz. thirty thou­sand Biefs to be given to the distressed of London, when burnt; of this a Reverend Prelate of theirs hath some testimonial by him, his Grace the Arch-bishop of Tuam, who is among them of universal Esteem, and in which he is singular. Now this publick Charity is not, as we thought, dispersed among all Gentry, as well as others, but only to the Poor, such as had scarce Stocks in the Kingdom, but were poor Mechanichs, Husband-men, and Labourers.

Some of the Clergy have also support out of it; and although they that are intrusted with the disposing this Money, lengthen it out as much as possible, gi­ving to most not above ten Shillings a month; yet they say about nineteen thousand pounds of the Money is already gone, and yet all complain, as if there were not an equal distribution; but I find little ground for it, only one or two Men are a scandal to the rest; and had they been left out, I believe the noise you heard in the Country would not have reached so far.

Now all this while, the Men of greatest Quality, and, perhaps, of greatest want, are put to their shifts; but they most of all, whose Estates lay in Stock, for that they can have no Credit, there being no expe­ctation for their Recovery: When I think of these Men, I must confess my Heart aches, they are the most miserable Men that have been among us, this Age having lived plentifully, worth thousands, bred to nothing but rural Matters, know not how to get Bread by any other Imployment, and so turned naked into the World, when they were going, by their Age, out [Page 11] of it; (I wish many of them go not silently away for want of Bread;) and yet under the Charge this King­dom lies, maintaining the Arms of three Kingdom's Forces in Holland, and a great Navy at Sea, it is not easie to find out an expedient to help them. I have been in discourse with some of them; and putting the case to one, Whether they could reasonably expect we should raise Money for them by a Tax, since by Col­lection it comes to so little, and is indeed the worst way of raising Money; for that only the Good Man, not the Rich, pays it any farther than he is charitable; whereas a Tax imposeth according to a Man's Abi­lity. To this I was answered, That they did believe it reasonable: And more, That it was profitable for us to do it. I was surprized with the Assertion, and desired to hear his Reasons for it, which were as fol­lows: First he affirms there were forty thousand Fami­lies fled from Ireland into England; that they had one with another spent at least, twenty pound a Family, which amounts to Eight hundred thousand pounds ster­ling: This was so much added to the Stock of Eng­land, and therefore deserved some return, since it was there all; and had so much Money been spent in Hol­land, they would have considered a distressed People that had done it. He illustrated the Discourse with Mercantine Observations, of which he was Master, and I foreign too, and therefore can no more relate than understand. His Notions seem'd reasonable, and all terminated in this, That England has had in Specie, Mony, and Plate, more from them than ever was brought in clear, and resting in the Kingdom in one year; for that he accounted all theirs was lodg'd here, and took nothing out of the Kingdom: And when I objected, [Page 12] that our Lead, Tin, Woollen-Manufacturies, and even the East-India Commodities, brought us in five times the summ he insisted on: He answered, That as it slow▪d in, so like the Tide it had its ebb out, otherwise England would not hold its Treasure; it would come to an immensity, if but half a Million a year was added to England.

We then come to that part of his Assertion, That it is profitable for England to raise Money for them; and that he would prove thus: First, that England had been for many years a Gainer by their Trade, contrary to the common Opinion: And this point, I confess, he handled beyond my expectation; and it must be bet­ter Heads▪ than mine that can answer him.

First, he laid down, that Ireland took more of our Manufactories, and Native Commodities, than Virginia, our Darling Plantation; and that if we pleased, we might raise as great a Revenue by Ireland, as we do out of our Tobacco.

Then that we made above two Millions Sterling a year of their Wool; that by the Act of Navigation we had barr'd them from the use of all foreign Shipping, and that in effect we had prohibited them from Trade to our foreign Plantations; by which, whatever the gain of their Trade was, we had it by our Shipping and Plantation-Commodities: That they were prohibi­ted by our Acts of Parliament from bringing any of their Commodities but what we stood in need of; a thing (as they set it out) so severe, as never used but to an Enemy. The Native Commodities never prohibited a Country in Amity; the most is to lay heavy Duties on them: But Ireland in its chiefest Commodities made a Nusance. And to close all, he affirmed that Ireland added to the Trade of England▪ three Millions a year▪ All this he thought worth their securing.

[Page 13]That the gaining the Kingdom would not do it, if the Inhabitants that were used to the Country, were not preserv'd and sent thither again: That many had already sought Dwellings in foreign parts, and more were on the Wing. This is as much as I can remem­ber of our Discourse, and I wanted one to oppose him; for from me he carried his Hypothesis.

Sixthly, As to your sixth Query, What the general Ap­prehensions of them are? I cannot give you a single Solution to that, since I find them differing so much among themselves: One Party, and those that were the latest Planters in that Kingdom, I find generally re­solv'd to return no more, but rather bend their Thoughts for Carolina, Virginia, and New-England. These be­lieve that Ireland will not soon be reduced, and that it will never be at quiet; for that the French lying so near it, and taking upon him the Guardianship of the pretended Prince of Wales, will ever be infesting that Kingdom; and that the Irish will be always ready to receive them: so that the quiet of Ireland will depend upon the success of the French. A successful Campaign with him, will raise a Tory-Camp in Ireland; for that, they say, they have experience by three several instan­ces, in less than two years. First, upon the death of King Charles the Second, they got up in all parts of the Kingdom, not having patience to see what their Guar­dian-Angel, the late King, would doe for them. That was scarce quieted with the assurance of his being a Ca­tholick Majesty; but upon Monmouth's appearing; they got up again; that was soon after pretty well laid by the arrival of that good Man the Earl of Clarendon, so they term him; and then up they got again, upon the arri­val of Tyrconnel; so they say the Tories ever do upon the [Page 14] least Change of Government. These are the Apprehen­sions of those they call New Purchasers, that came for Ire­land since the Act of Settlement, which was made upon the Restauration of Charles the Second. Ano­ther set of them I find more resolute, and they are those they call Cromwelians: These are such as were Sol­diers in that Conquest, or the Sons of them; a rough sturdy People, and full of indignation against the Irish, rendring them a bloody, but cowardly People, easily conquer'd, if fallen suriously upon. But the way now taken (they say) will put Courage in the Irish, who never saw themselves fear'd or treated like a formidable Enemy before, the English being more troubled to find than overcome them; and never considered odds, but thought them brave if they would engage them, being five to one: They instance the same in the few English that got together. Now those they call Iniskil­ling-Men, which were not of that place, but most of Connaught, the remains and off-spring of Oliverians, that were under the former Lord Kingstone, and hea­ded by the young Lord his Son, who, they say, inhe­rits his Father's Courage; and had he not been betray­ed by Lundy, would have done great Things in Ireland, as his Men have done since, where less than twelve hun­dred half naked Men, routed five thousand of the flower of the Irish Army, posted in a most inaccessible place. This (they say) was three to one greater odds than our Army stands upon; and believe if they had been sent over under their own old Commanders, there would have been a good Account of Ireland by this time. This is the Opinion they have of themselves, and yet fansie the King will use them at last, and believe his Majesty would at first, but that they had Enemies, who [Page 15] gave a false Account of them. For the New Interest-Men, they are sure not a Man but would venture his Life for their Majesties in any part of the World.

But to come to that which hath more Authority with it, and that is, they say, That when Cromwel lan­ded in Ireland, the English and British had the chief of the Kingdom, Dublin, Cork, Toughall, Kingsale, and all the North, where there was stock of Cattel, and pretty store of Pillage near the Garisons.

That Cromwel made quick work, took Drogheda, and several places of moment in few Weeks after his landing; so that before the Spring, (he landing in August,) the whole Kingdom was in a manner in Pro­testants Hands; the Irish pent up in Garisons. And yet after all these advantages and opportunities of sow­ing Corn, when the War was over in fifty One, the Fa­mine, and its usual Attendent, the Plague, swept away more than the Sword had done in all the War of the Irish, and many thousands of the English. In the City of Dublin there died in one year two and twenty thou­sand. There is a worse prospect now of the same fate, for that the Protestants have not an ear of Corn in the Kingdom; nor have the Irish much, scarce any Win­ter-Corn, for that at the season for sowing, they have been imbroil'd in Arms. Nor can there be any Spring-Corn considerable, for the same reason. From all which they infer, there must inevitably be a Famine next year; which will in the first place fall upon those Protestants that escape this Winter, many are perished already; for that the Irish keep the Men Prisoners, after having robb'd them of all they have, and leave the poor Women and Children starving in their Houses. Upon the whole, they conclude, That the Kingdom [Page 16] will be in a manner dispeopled, let what will now hap­pen; and that those few, both of English and Irish, who escape the destroying Angel in War, Famine, and Plague, and live to see Peace, will yet perish for want of Bread; the Mony of the Kingdom being already sent to France by the late King, and Brass Farthings left as Half-Crowns in the room of the Silver; so that they will have nothing to purchase Food.

They farther add, that after the last Rebellion, the Kingdom was suller of Money than ever it was since; that Corn was much cheaper in England, than it is like to be now.

That then they had great quantities of Corn from France, now there can be none; and after all these Helps, (which now they will want,) yet great part of those left in fifty One perished by Famine; and wan­ting of People to bury the dead, infected the Air, and brought the Plague, the Irish scarce covering their Dead with Earth. Some Objections I made to these desponding Conjectures, which were chiefly two: First, that it was not to be imagined but the Irish would keep some Silver-Money; and that in robbing the Eng­lish they must get some.

To this I was answered, That the Irish are seldom Masters of Money, their Treasure being Cattel; that the course the late King took, was invincible to draw out every penny of Silver they had; for at the same time he proclaimed his Brass Coin to pay his Army, and to pass betwixt Man and Man, it was provided, That all his Revenue, as Quit-Rent, Hearth-Money, Excise, Cu­stoms, &c. should be paid in Silver, so that as long as there was a penny among them, it came into the Trea­sury.

[Page 17]For their having Money of the English's, or Plate, I find they are so ingenious, most of them, as to con­fess, they believe the English left little Money or Plate behind them.

My second Objection was, That though there were no Trade, yet in such a fertile Countrey it was easie for the Irish to get Roots, Hearbs, Milk, Flesh, and their great Food, Potatoes, which we see here in England, after once setting, are never to be got out of the Ground, so that of them they can never want.

To all which I was answered, That the Irish (for by the way it is granted, that the English will not be ad­mitted, nor are able to doe any of these) are great strangers to Garden-Stuff; nor is there Garden-Seeds in the Kingdom, the English always fetching them from England.

Milk, it is true, is one part of their Summer's Pro­vision, but they presume they will have as great want of Cattel, as Corn, especially Cows; for which they give me a reason, that carries Probability with it, though it be novel: They tell me, in Ireland the very English give little or no Fodder in Winter to their black Cattel, by which means their Cows, which they call Gowneys, that is, such as had not Calves the last Summer, being with Calf the Winter following, are best in flesh all the Winter; and being so, the hungry Irish, in regard there is no command of them, being Soldiers, and rambling where they please, fall upon these Cows, and by that means they are without Cattel to give them Milk next Summer; and for demonstration they say, That after the last War a Milch Cow in Ireland would yield eight pounds, when an Ox as big again, might be bought for three.

[Page 18]For their Potatoes, they say, it is a mistake to think that after being once set they need no more labour; they must be every year new dug, and dunged: And besides, these Potatoes come not in till next Winter, and these Gentlemen here agree, as is already past, that they will be all starved next Summer, and that such as do escape, will not be the English, for that they will first perish.

The quantity of Corn and Beer that was brought in­to Ireland in one year after the last War, is incredible, as they relate it. A Person of good Quality and For­tune told me, he was then a Merchant, and lived in England, but traded for Ireland, that he sent great quantities of Wheat and Malt himself; above Ten thou­sand of our Quarters in one Year went to Waterford; that to all Parts there went not less than One hundred thousand Quarters in one year; and if so much was wan­ting when there had been so much of the Kingdom in Pretestant Hands, What will there be after an univer­sal Ravage and Destruction, for so they conclude the Condition of that Kingdom?

I cannot omit the Foot of a Discourse I had with the most intelligent man I met among them; it was this:

Ireland, as it stood at the death of Charles II. he be­lieved had about Two millions of Souls; a minute com­putation to that Gentleman's, who in a Pamphlet makes the British Protestants half that number, who were ne­ver accounted a fifth part of the whole, the Irish being thought near eight for one, but this Gentleman, who made his computation Two millions, supposes a dolefull account, that Two thirds will, by Flight, the Sword, Famine, and Sickness, be taken off before Ireland can be reduced, hoping it be done next Summer, there will [Page 19] then not remain seven hundred thousand Souls in the Kingdom; allow them but two Bushels a Mouth for a year, which is but about three farthings worth of Bread a day, which allowance will starve more than feed; yet at this rate, there must be one hundred and seventy five thousand Quarters of Bread-Corn, to keep their distressed Remains alive, besides the Army, that must be better provided for. I was startled at this Computation; and when I went to make some Ob­jection, I was stopped with this, That if the Deliverance of these poor Creatures happen to be greater than what he expected, then the Provision of Corn must be greater; and that for help in the Kingdom, there was no Expectation considerable: it was more than could be expected, if they could find of any Sustenance to make up a Living. I find their Apprehensions very remote, as to the re-planting that Kingdom, groun­ded upon their Experience in Oliver's time; which is this, That the reducing of that Kingdom happened to be just after the winding up of that fatal Catastrophy of the Civil Wars of England and Scotland, which obliged many thousands of the loyal Party to shift their Habitations, and that brought them for Ireland: There were also numbers that came from New-Eng­land, and other foreign Plantations, having Friends and Relations promoted in Ireland.

There was also such an absolute Conquest, and Power over the Irish, that they were rather numbred among the Beasts of the Field, than thought on as a People in a Possibility of disturbing the Government. Not five Men in the Kingdom restored to their E­states, the most of them transplanted into a Country they call Connaught, surrounded with the Sea, and a [Page 20] great River; so that it was not possible to have greater Security, and more Incouragement than was at that time; and yet after all this, for near five years after the Conquest, Wales, Scotland, and England, for some Provisions, were their Markets; and Land was set, some years after the laying down of Arms, for forty Shillings a year, that in ten years after, was set for two hundreds pounds a year: So then, if with all the Advantages that then attended Ireland, it was yet so many years in rising to a bare Living, how will it be now improved, when none of those Advantages attend it, but just the contrary. They name Particu­lars, which I shall not trouble you with, being easily understood.

I have given you the Sentiments of two sets of these People, I now come to a third; for I find them of three distinct Interests and Affections one to the other: These last are of the Old Interest, and seem to be more affected to Ireland, than either of the former, and think it the Paradise of the Earth; would willingly engage their Lives in that War, but desire to be excused from the Bravery of the Gentlemen before-mentioned.

They have better hopes of Ireland; have, with their own, the Remarks of their Ancestors; how fre­quent the Rebellions of Ireland have been, and yet the Country soon made habitable again. They con­fess it looks worse now than ever; and that the Irish were never a formidable Enemy before; and therefore they fear the Country will be waste before it be re­duced. They have the same Apprehensions with the former, of the French infesting the Western and Sou­thern Parts of the Kingdom, and fear, above all, the pardoning the Men of Estates, which they say was ever [Page 21] the ruine of that Kingdom: The Irish Grandees, first by Bribes, and, in process of time, by Marriage in­to English Families, got such Friends in the Court of England, that whatever Rebellion happened, they always had some of their great Men to head it, and, in the whole, or part, pardon'd, when they had done the like they fear now: And if any one of the great Clanns doth get his Estate, he will be, upon any oppor­tunity a Head to new Rebellions: But if they be quite extirpate, I mean the Men of Estates, then they fear nothing, but, in the end, to be the better for this War, which, they hope, will make a lasting Settlement for that Kingdom.

I had almost forgot a remarkable difference in Opi­nion I find between these Gentlemen, and those of the New Interest: They of the New believe nothing will contribute more to the enriching that Kingdom, than the bringing in Foreigners, Dutch, French, and of any Nation, that are of the reformed Religion; but those of the Old Interest, that are the Off-spring of the first English that went for Ireland, have differing Sentiments, and say, they had rather have the slavish Irish, than the Rhedomontado French, or stubborn Dutch, that they cannot govern; and I find the old English of Ireland have always been jealous of new Comers, which makes a division among the Peo­ple.

Seventhly, I now come to the seventh Query, what the Resolution of them in general is, and of that I can give no certain Account, since they seem not fixed themselves; some despairing, others in hopes, and the rest resolute, to take their Fortunes there: But by the nearest Computation I can make, the greatest num­bers [Page 22] are in condition neither to go, nor stay, having nothing here, and have lost all there. These are Men, whose Estates lay all in Stock. It would hardly be credited, how much these Farmers exceed ours in their Stock; it being common for Men there of not a penny Free-hold, to have five hundred Head of black Cattel, and a thousand Sheep. Many of two and three thou­sand pounds worth of Stock, all which being lost, and they being bred to no other Imployment, are in a helpless Condition, their Misfortune such as I never read any thing like it in Story, exceeding the Cruelty of the most unchristian Government.

They were no ways engaged against the late King; no not so much as pretenders to any of the Irish E­states, but many of them Tenants to the Irish, preten­ded (as some of them tell me) to be zealous for the late King, in hopes, by that Means, to keep their Stock, but all would not do: Every thing they had swept a­way; and even those that were protected, and stay'd there, in Obedience to his Proclamation, were all alike used. Now what Government under the Copes of Heaven did ever exert such Authority, that Obe­dience under it should be no Security. I had like to have wish'd those Gentlemen who, under pretence of Conscience, advocate his Cause that doth all this, were under his Government: But God forbid there should be more Martyrs, or Sacrifices to Moloch; for they cannot be called Martyrs, that suffer without refusing any so much as pretended Law. Those Gen­tlemen that had real Estates, and are here in England, I find most of them in want of Money, as much as those that had all in Personal Estates, having spent all they brought with them, which could not be much, by their [Page 23] own Computation, of having spent eight hundred thousand pounds in this Kingdom, which is twenty pounds a Family, for forty thousand Families (they say) are in England; but I take their Computa­tion of Expence to be modest, and much short of what such numbers must have spent in six and nine Months, as most of them have been here.

I have no more to add, having given you as impartial an Account to all your Queries as possible, both of the People, their Humors, and present Con­dition; I beg your pardoning my Vanity, if I say, that I believe, you have it in this, with more In­differency, than it can be had from any of them­selves: Out of them all I have gathered this Rela­tion, which I presume none of them will ar­raign.

I know you will expect my Opinion, and Re­marks upon the whole of my Observations, which are more than I could commit to Writing; and this is a greater Difficulty than all the rest, which is no more than Matter of Fact: But this of making critical Observations, is a work of Judgment, to which I have but a slender pretence; however my Thoughts, such as they are, you have as follows.

For the People, you have their Character in the first Paragraph of their Original: They are, by all the Account that ever I meet with, from those that have been among them in Ireland, the most hospitable People in the World, and that Humour carries them above their Condition in their Ex­pence; they generally complain of the strait Hands of England, especially in the Country.

[Page 24]What will become of them, is past my Under­standing, they seem too many for England to main­tain; yet at the same time, I see no other way to preserve them from starving. It is true, we have been yet at no Charge with those of best Quality, and, for ought I see, in greatest want: I wish the Pride of some of them, and the narrowness of our Hearts, have not already sent some into ano­ther World, that rather pine away than beg; I have heard of one, a Man of five hundred a year, that did so.

I am loth to censure Men in Affliction; yet why those of the North, whose Estates are all free and quiet, don't return, is unaccountable: I think them Ene­mies to their Country-men, that have yet no Estates to go unto; for that it is natural for us to believe, they are not in want, who will not go to their own Estates; and some may have the same Thoughts of such as cannot.

It would be well for these poor Gentlemen that are in want, if these Men were distinguished; for while they are in England, the other will be the less considered.

I confess, it was at first a surprize to me, that Men who talk of hundreds, and thousands a year, in the North of Ireland, should think themselves entituled to the Charity of the Parliament; but enquiring into the Matter, I found these Gentlemen were some of them Livers here before this deprivation, and that for their Pleasures. Others (I may say most of them) are making Interest for Employments, and to be privy Counsellors; how agreeable this is, [Page 25] for Men to neglect their common Interest; leave their Brethren there in Misery; and now they might help, and encourage them by their return, stay here to enjoy their Pleasure, and make them­selves great Men, you may judge.

They put a hard Task on the King, and People of England, to conquer their Country for them, if they will not at least sit down in it, as fast as it is recovered; so that the King's Army may pur­sue their Victories, and not stay to keep the Country, as they get it; they to whom the Land belongs may sure do that, or else the King must raise another Army.

There is no comparison to be made with Crom­wel's Conquest, and this; he found three Pro­testant Armies in the Kingdom, all the North in their Hands, and most of the chief Cities and Ports in the Kingdom: The Enemy a shabby miserable People, with very few Arms, and less Ammunition, never appeared in the Field, but like Tories; so as the Gentlement of Ireland say themselves, their Trouble was to find them: But now it is not so; they have a numerous Army, their pretended King in the Head of them, and all the Kingdom in their Hands, but the North, that his Majesty's Forces have recovered back; so that I doubt they go too fast, that think we might have regained Ireland last Summer. I most la­ment the poor Protestants that are in the Irish Hands, by what I can understand, they must inevitably perish this Winter, for that they have nothing of their own: And what can be expected [Page 26] from such barbarous Enemies as the Irish, who in the last Rebellion, murdered Two hundred thou­sand Persons, using all manner of exquisite Tortures, and now have the more accomplished way of the French, their Masters, to starve the Hereticks.

There seems no prospect for the return of any of the People of Ireland untill next Summer, except those of the North go to their Estates; if they do, we shall still have three fourths left on our hands; and if they at a moderate Computation could not live these six months past for Six hundred thousand Pounds, How will they for the future? If they live but with the Allowance of Prisoners, Fifty thou­sand Pounds per Month will not defray the Charge: And this is not all; suppose we keep them alive untill next Summer, and then they are restored to Ireland, there they must have Bread, and consi­dering the Want of our usual Granary, France, and our great Expence for Naval Provisions, and that Corn is already rising, I cannot see how England can spare any, Scotland can give but a small Help; so then our Expectation must be from the East-Sea, and considering that all Europe is in Arms, the Ex­pence of Corn will be greater than in the memory of Man, which will raise the Price so, that one Year's Provision of Grain, allowing but one Third of the People of Ireland to be alive the next Year, may reasonably be supposed to cost a Million Ster­ling; all which must come out of the Treasury of England, or those People will perish by Famine. This you may think (as I doubt not most do) a re­mote [Page 27] Prediction, and may as well not be, as come to pass, I could wish it were so; but methinks, it is a poor Confutation, only to say, It will not be, and yet give not so much as Probability for the contra­ry, when for my Assertion there is plain Demon­stration, and former Experience.

But you will then say, What will be the end of all this, and where the Remedy?

If it were in my Province, I could answer in point the several ways that are open for it, which they at the Helm no doubt have before them.

To comply with your Desire, and since all I have said is but matter of Discourse, not Enquiries into Government, much less Dictates to it, I shall give you my Thoughts in two Particulars.

First, That this Course taken by our Army in Ireland, in that we call delay, is the best Expedient to preserve that Kingdom from being depopulated, I mean of the common Irish; for it seems of Conse­quence to preserve them, and they will (if former Experience has any weight) soon become demea­nable to the English Government if their Heads are removed from them.

Now had our Army, as soon as they landed, attacked these People, there would have been in Probability great Destruction of them; and those that were left, thereby made desperate, and told by their Leaders, nothing but Destruction would attend them, if they did not fight it out; and nothing makes a Coward stout like Necessity: If Death attend on all Parts, his only hope is the Death of his Enemy, and [Page 28] that makes him fight: Now this hazard is preven­ted, by giving them time to consider their Dan­ger, and offering them Terms of Peace, and En­joyment of all their Properties: I still mean the common People; for the Landed Men, I find by all Hands, are never to be restored to their Estates: But the Commonalty are of absolute use in the Kingdom; and they are, as the Mantle thrown off tells us, Followers of their Lands; whoever com­mands the one, hath the other. And I have heard the Gentlemen of Ireland say, that their Irish Tenants would in their common Discourse say, That if the English had an Army to protect them, swea­ring the common Oath, by their Souls, they would keep their Cabins, and not fight to get Land for other Men: They must be Slaves, let who will have it, and worse used by the Irish than English Landlords. And however it is generally said, That these poor People go voluntarily into their Army; the most judicious of the Irish Gentlemen I meet with, say, it is a force upon the greatest part of them; and that it is so, I believe may be the Reason of Duke Schomberg's taking the Methods, which vulgar Heads condemn; but in the end, may be found of great Advantage to that King­dom: For that it is more than probable, great part of the late King's Army, will from their Win­ter-Quarters run home to their Cabins from a Sum­mers, this year's Service having given them enough of the Discipline of War.

For by the way, I find the Irish marry very young, so that of their Infantry, there is not one [Page 29] of ten a single Man, from whence I make this Remark, That the Reason which is usually given for the Irish, not fighting so well in their own Coun­try, as in foreign Parts, is not all concluded in knowing where to run upon a Rout, but it seems as much Reason, that they run to their Wives.

Upon the Whole, it then seems to me of weight, that the Irish have this Winter given them to run away in: And though I am no Prophet, yet do pre­dict we shall have a slender Account next Spring of the Irish Army; and it seems undeniable, that this way of bringing in the Irish, will preserve that King­dom, both in its Provisions and People; for that the Irish will by this means preserve all they can, since they will have hopes to enjoy them under their old Masters, the English.

Secondly, That which will make the Settlement of that Kingdom easie, and speedy, may be the present Return of those that fled from it; they talk of many thousands in England, and, no doubt, are Men of Courage, and fit for Action; and al­though I cannot see any need of Enlarging His Majesties Troups there, yet these Gentlemen would be of great Use in that Kingdom, both to plant, and secure the Countrey, as it falls into His Majesty's Hands; they tell me near half the Kingdom is so already, as to the Acres, though the chief Towns are not: All Ulster, and a great part of Connaught may be quietly possessed by His Majesties loyal Subjects. Now if they were there, [Page 30] all the foregoing Fears were at an end, and that of the great Charge those Gentlemen would be to England, if they live upon the Charity of the Kingdom.

I have heard several of them that expect the Be­nevolence of the Parliament say, That if they had but a quarter of what they have spent since they came into England, to carry them back, they would not tarry a day longer. The House of Commons (they say) are now upon Addressing their Majesties in their behalf for Sixty thousand Pounds for a Year; if that were made an Hun­dred thousand Pounds, and paid them in one en­tire Summ, by what I can perceive, they would give us no farther Trouble: If they have spent eight times the summ here, we may afford it; and as remote as some think that Kingdom looks, I have the Faith to believe we shall see that Work done in time, to visit Monsieur next Summer with greatest part of that Army.

I am, SIR,
Yours, &c.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.