תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

us, in 1635, that Dublin is, beyond all exception, the fairest, richest, best built city he had met with, (except York and Newcastle :) it is far beyond Edinborough: only one street in Edinborough (the great long street) surpasseth any street here. Here is the lord deputy, and the state and council of the kingdom.' This city of Dublin,' continues the same author, 'is extending his bounds and limits very far: much additions of building lately, and some of them very fine, stately, and complete buildings: every commodity is grown very dear. You must pay also for an horse hire 1s. 6d. a day. There are various commodities cried in Dublin as in London, which it doth more resemble than

any

other town I have seen in the King of England's dominions.'»

“ The excess to which luxury in dress was carried in Dublin about this period, called forth the interference of the legislature, and in 1634 it was ordered by the Irish house of commons, that 'the proposition made against the excessive wearing of bone lace, and of gold and silver lace, should be referred to the consideration of the committee of grievances, to consider what persons and degrees are fit to use the same, and how, for to report their opinion thereon to the house.'

Not fewer than fifty peers attended the parliament called by Wentworth, and they, with the members of the lower house, must have added much to the trade and splendor of the city. Some families of distinction had mansions worthy of their rank. Among them was the Earl of Cork's, at the Dame's gate, near the castle, from

which the ascent there acquired the name of «Cork Hill.” This building was afterwards taken on lease by the government of Charles I., and it was occupied for public purposes early under the commonwealth, though by that time it had fallen much into decay.

Little, it is to be feared, can be said favorable to the state of Christian piety in Dublin at this period. Dr. Joshua Hoyle occupied the pulpit of St. Werburgh's, where he is said to have preached at ten in the morning and at three in the afternoon. He is described as “ the friend of Usher, and the tutor and chamber-fellow of Sir James Ware," "a most zealous preacher and general scholar in all manner of learning.” He was a fellow and professor of divinity in the university. He appeared as one of the witnesses against Laud

his trial, and afterwards was a constantly-attending member of the Westminster Assembly of Divinės. Wood, in the “Athenæ Oxonienses,” gives him a high character. Ile had studied at Oxford, and died master of University College there in 1654.

Notwithstanding all the gayety and appearance of prosperity in the metropolis, the elements of strife already adverted to were generating fearful convulsions in the country. Rome, by its bulls, its nuncio, its emissaries, conspired with Charles's self-seeking tyranny and duplicity, to sever it from England and Protestantism together; but the details of organizations and movements directed to this end belong to the history of Ireland rather than of Dublin. The lord deputy's rule

on

here was of the same tenor with that of his master: it aggravated discontent in the honest and well-disposed, while it cheered on the revolted. Wentworth returned to England, where he was created Earl of Strafford. He was impeached, attainted, and executed. Sir Christopher Wandsford was appointed lord deputy, but died suddenly. Sir William Parsons and Sir John Borlase were sworn lords justices in February, 1641. The insurgents had their schemes laid widely, but with so much secrecy that the authorities were totally unaware of their intentions. They had prepared to possess themselves of Dublin, with its castle, and on the 22nd of October they resolved to effect their purpose on the evening of the next day.

Providentially for the city, its inhabitants, and the government, one Mac Mahon, a leader among the rebels, had disclosed their projects to a man named Owen O'Connolly, servant to a Protestant gentleman in the north, hoping to engage him with them. This man came up to Dublin in quest of a friend on the 22d, when he met Mac Mahon, and while they were drinking together, the latter divulged to him the plan for the following day. Half-intoxicated as he was, O'Connolly stole

away
and

gave information to Sir William Parsons. The man's appearance made Sir William for the moment pay little regard to his statements. He was told to go and obtain further information. But he was hardly dismissed when it struck Sir William that what the man had said was more important than it at first seemed

to be.

He ordered the castle and city to be guarded, and went to his fellow lord justice, Sir John Borlase. The privy council were summoned. Messengers were sent to discover and bring O'Connolly again. He was found with the police, who had taken him in charge for not being able to give an account of himself. By his dis ! closures, Mac Mahon, Lord Maguire, and some more, were arrested; but other leaders, hearing of the discovery, saved themselves by instant flight. Most opportunely, Sir Francis Willoughby, governor of Galway Castle, a privy-councillor and an able soldier, reached Dublin at this critical moment. He found the gates closed and the suburbs in much confusion. Hearing that the lords justices and the privy council were in deliberation at Sir John Borlase's, on the green leading to the college, he went thither. He told them that in the country through which he passed he observed no signs of disturbance, but that an unusual number of strange horsemen had all night been pouring into the suburbs. He recommend ed an adjournment to the castle for greater security. The lords justices and council acted on his suggestions, assigned to him the general defence of the place, and issued a proclamation informing the public of the plot discovered, and exhorting to loyalty and courage in self-défence.

The force at the command of the government did not exceed three thousand men, and these were scattered in garrisons and detachments through the country.

In Dublin' castle were “one thousand five hundred barrels of powder,

with proportionate match and bullet, arms for ten thousand men, and thirty-five pieces of artillery with all their equipage. For its security were "eight infirm wardens and forty halberdiers," being the parade guard of the chief magistrate on state occasions. Willoughby was prompt and energetic. “The council table was his only couch. He could not venture to lay down his drawbridge without the attendance of his whole insignificant guard, until the arrival of a part of his disbanded regiment from Carlisle enabled him to arm two hundred men for the defence of the castle; a body soon reinforced by those who fled for shelter to the capital, and by some detachments of the army recalled from their quarters by the lords justices."

Nothing could exceed the consternation of the citizens. Rumors the most appalling flew like lightning. Many of the English went on board vessels in the river to return to their native country, and, though wind-bound, preferred remaining on the water to venturing on land again. A fleet of Scotch fishermen offered five hundred of their men for the service of the state, but just as the offer was accepted, they set sail under a false alarm. Four hundred soldiers, embarked for the service of Spain, and detained by order of the English parliament, were not permitted to leave the ships till they were nearly perishing from hunger, and eventually they dispersed to join the rebel cause. However, under the advice of Sir John Temple, Master of the Rolls, the principal Protestant merchants of the

« הקודםהמשך »