History & Antiquities of the County of Carlow 1833



Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

The History And Antiquities Of The County Of Carlow.

by John Ryan's  1833


Present State of the Antiquities of the County of Carlow.

Parliament met on the 5th February, 1789, when the members of our district remained as last mentioned.

11th March, 1789. — A petition of the undersigning subscribers for improving the Barrow navigation between Athy bridge, in the county of Kildare, and the tide-water at St. Mullin's, in the county, of Carlow, with a plan and estimate annexed, was presented to the house, and read, setting forth, that the petitioners have lately caused a plan to be made for the improving of the navigation of the river Barrow from Athy, in the county of Kildare, to the tide-water at St. Mullin's in the county of Carlow, and also an estimate the expense of said proposed work, to which plan and estimate they refer. That the petitioners are willing to undertake the execution of said work in the term of ten years, to be computed from the 1st July, 1789, on receiving from parliament an aid or bounty equivalent to thirty thousand pounds or two thousand pounds per annum for the term of seventeen years. That in case the petitioners shall be encouraged to undertake said work, they propose to provide by subscription (the particulars of which are annexed thereto) a further sum of thirty thousand pounds in addition to such parliamentary aid, subject to the provisions contained in the sixth resolution of the house of the 25th March, 1788. That the said petitioners do not require to receive any part of the said aid, except as they shall prove before the commissioners of impress accounts, from time to 'time, the expenditure of their and money, and they then humbly hope to receive a sum equal to one half of what they shall have so proved to be expended, so as in the end to receive half of the whole expenditure. That the petitioners, in consideration of the said aid, do propose not to exceed three half-pence per ton per mile fur coals, culm, flags, stones, bricks, sand, and such like articles, two pence per ton per mile toll for all other goods, and three half-pence per mile for each passenger: and therefore praying the grant aforesaid.

Ordered — That the said petition be referred to the consideration of a committee, and that they do in the first place examine how far the orders of the house of the 25th of March, 1788, have been complied with, and report the evidence upon such examination to the house on the report of the said petition. And a committee was appointed of Mr. Colville, Mr. Griffith, and others, or any five or more of them, and they have power to meet to-morrow morning, and to adjourn from time to time, and to send for persons and papers, and all members who come are to have voices.'

16th March, 1789. — Mr. Burton reported from the committee to whom it was referred to take into consideration the petition of the subscribers for improving the Barrow navigation between Athy bridge, in the county of Kildare, and the tide-water at St. Mullin's, in the county of Carlow, which report he read in his place, and after delivered in at the table, where the same was read.

Ordered — That the' said report be referred to the committee of the whole house, to whom it is referred to consider further of the application of the tillage duties.

27th April, 1789.— Ordered— That the committee of the whole house to whom it was referred to take into consideration a bill for the promotion and encouragement of inland navigation, be  empowered to receive a Clause or clauses to enable the subscribers to the Barrow navigation to obtain possession of the said river and

the works thereon from the bridge of Athy to the tide-water at St. Mullin's, on the conditions and under the restrictions therein specified, Parliament was prorogued on the 25th May, 1789, and again met on the 21st January, 1790.



County of Catherlogh,

William Burton, Esq


Sir Richard Butler, Bart.

Borough of Catherlogh.

Sir John Browne, Bart.


Sir Charles Desvoeux, Bart.


Hon. James Caulfield Browne, in the place of


the said Sir John


Browne, now Lord baron Kilmaine.


Sworn 21st Jan. 1790.

Borough of Old Leighlin.

Hon. Arthur Acheson, ,


Sir Edward Leslie, Bart.

Parliament was dissolved on the 8th April, 1790, and a new one assembled on the 2nd July, 1790.




County of Catherlogh.'

William Burton, Esq.


Henry Bruen, Esq.,

Borough of Catherlogh.

Augus. Cavendish Bradshaw, Esq..


John Ormsby Vandeleur, Esq., of


Kilrush, in the county of Clare,

Borough of Old Leighlin.

Hon. Arthur Acheson,


Edward Cooke, Esq.

Parliament was prorogued on the 24th July, 1790, and met again on the 20th January, 1791.




County of Catherlogh

William Burton, Esq.


Henry Bruen, Esq.

Borough of Catherlogh.

Augustus Cavendish Bradshaw, Esq.


John Ormsby Vandeleur, Esq.

Borough of Old Leighlin.

Hon. Arthur Acheson.


Edward Cooke, Esq.


Patrick Duigenan, Esq. in the room of the


Hon. Arthur Acheson, now lord Viscount


Gosford, Sworn 28th Jan., 1791.

Parliament having been prorogued on the 5th May, 1791, met  again on the 19th January, 1792, when the members for our district were as last mentioned.

28th January, 1792. — The house being informed that Mr. MacLean, secretary to the commissioners of account attended at the door, was called in, and at the bar, presented to the house, pursuant to act of parliament, an account of the Barrow navigation company from the 27th day of October, 1788, to the 8th day of January, 1791. First account.

Parliament was prorogued on the 18th April, 1792, and again assembled on the 10th of January, 1793, when the members from the county of Carlow remained the same as last.

29th Jan. 1793.— The house being informed that Mr. Mac Lean, secretary to the commissioners of account, attended at the door, he was called in, and at the bar presented to the house, pursuant to act of parliament, an account of the Barrow navigation company from the 8th day of January, 1791, to the 25th day of February, 1792. Second account.

5th Feb. 1793. — Ordered— That leave be given to bring in a bill to establish a militia in the kingdom of Ireland, and that the Earl of Hillsborough, lord viscount Headfort, Mr. Monck, the Right Hon. Mr. Secretary Hobart, Mr. Bushe, and Mr. Hayes, do prepare and bring in the same. [Bill for amending and reducing into one act of parliament the laws relating to the militia of Ireland.] — Read first time, March 4. Read second time, March 7. Read third time, March 19. Agreed to by the lords, March 26. Received royal assent, April 9, 1793.

In pursuance of the bill just mentioned, a regiment of militia was raised in the county of Carlow. Henry Bruen, Esq., of Oak Park, one of the representatives for the county, was appointed colonel. Commissions to the following gentlemen were signed by him:

To be Major

Walter Kavanagh.

Dated April 26th, 1793.

To be Captains

Thomas Whelan.

Dated do.


Philip Newton.

Dated April 27, 1793.


John Newton.

Dated April 28th.

To be Lieutenants

John Wolseley.

Dated April 28th.


John Bennett.

Dated April 27th.


John Leckey

Dated April 28th.


William Astle.*

Dated April 29th.


Abraham Jones.

Dated April 30th.


Constantine Brough.

Dated May 1st;

To be Ensigns

William Carter.

Dated April 26th.


Ashley Crofton, jun.

Dated April 27th.


Joseph Malone.

Dated April 28th.


Haggerty, jun.

Dated April 29th.

To be Adjutant.

John Wolseley.

Dated April 26th.

*Grand-uncle of the author. He was afterwards a Captain in the regiment

 The following are the routes and quarters of the Carlow regiment of militia. When embodied in 1793, it was ordered to Nenagh, thence to Charles'  fort, near Kinsale; to Cove; to Waterford ; to Trim ; to Downpatrick ; to Blairismore Camp; to Drogheda to Navan, where the regimenft was stationed in 1798, and from whence it proceeded to Nittstown, on the banks of the Boyne, where an action took place with the rebels. The latter fled almost immediately, although they were in great numbers. From Navan the regiment marched to Robertstown; to Cork; to Charles'-fort; to Middleton; to Mulling; to Roscrea; thence to Carlow, in 1802, when it was disembodied.

Parliament was prorogued on the 16th August, 1793, and again met on the 2lst January, 1794, when the members for our district remained as last.

10th February, 1794. — Third account of the Barrow navigation company, from the 1st day of February, 1792, to the 1st day of May, 1793 presented.

Parliament was prorogued on the 25th March, 1794, and again assembled on the 22nd January, 1795, our district having the same members as last stated.

31st Jan., 1795. — A petition of the Catholics  of the county of Carlow, whose names are thereunto subscribed, on behalf of themselves and others of his majesty catholic subjects', was presented to the house and read.

Ordered — That the said petition do lie on the t able for the perusal of the members.

14th February, 1795. — Fourth account of the Barrow navigation company from the 1st May, 1?93, to the 3 1st December following, presented.

On the 5th June, parliament was prorogued.

In 1795, the Roman Catholic college of Carlow was established by Doctor Keeffe, Romish bishop of Kildare und Leighlin. It was first opened for the education of lay students, but has been since extended to the preparation of priests.

The accommodations are calculated for the reception of one hundred students of each class; but there has never been that number at one time ;in the establishment. The present officers of the college consist of the president; professor of theology and vice-president; principal of the lay-college and professor of natural philosophy; professor of logic, and Hebrew; bursar ; dean of the ecclesiastical college ; two professors of classics ; professor of classics, and dean of the lay college; lecturer on natural philosophy; vice-dean of the lay college ; and professor of mathematics, and of the study hall. Doctor Doyle, the present Roman catholic bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, whose publications under the signature of J.K.L. (James, Kildare and Leighlin*) have rendered him so celebrated, 'entered the college of Carlow in ISQ9, as professor of rhetoric, and a few years afterwards was appointed professor of theology. Doctor Doyle was chosen for the office of Romish bishop, which he now holds, in November, 1819. He has since been examined by committees of the houses of lords and commons ; and whatever may be thought of the principles developed on those occasions, as well as in his writings, (of which assuredly we do not approve), It must be confessed, that great talent has been thus exhibited. Parliament met on the 21st January, 1 796.



County of Catherlogh,

William Burton, Esq.


Sir Richard Butler, Bart., in the room of Henry Bruen,


Esq., deceased. Sworn 9th February, 1796.*

Borough of Catherlogh.

Hon. Augustus Cavendish Bradghaw.


John Ormsby Vandeleur, of Kilrush, in the county of


Clare, Esq.


Sir Frederick Flood, Bart., in the room of the said


Augustus Cavendish'


Bradshaw, who accepted a place of profit under the


crown. Sworn 25th February, 1796.

Borough of Old Leighlin.

Paterick Duigenan, Esq


Edward Cooke, Esq., re-elected, having accepted a


place of profit under the crown. Sworn 21st February,



29th January, 1796, Account of the Barrow navigation from the 1st January, 1794, to the 31st December following, presented. From "an estimate of the charge of militia regiments for one year ending at 31st March, 1796," it appears, that the Carlow militia consisted of two hundred and sixty-three men; its expense for the year, seven thousand and sixty-five pounds, nine shillings, and eleven pence. In the year ending 1797, the number of companies was five; of men four hundred and four; the expense nine thousand and fifty-seven pounds, nineteen shillings, and four pence*.

Parliament was prorogued on the 15th April, 1796, and met again on the 13th October, 1796.

County of Catherlogh.                       William. Burton, Esq
                                                            Sir Richard Butler, Bart.,
Borough of Calherlogh.                     John Ormsby Vandeleur, Esq.
                                                            Sir Frederick Flood, Bart.
Borough of Old Leighlin.                   Patrick Duigenan, Esq.,
                                                            Edward Cooke, Esq., re-elected, having accepted a place of profit under the crown.
                                                            Sworn 26th October, 1796.

*On this occasion, John Staunton Rochfort, Esq., of Cloghgrenan, addressed the county, but did not contest the election, with Sir Richard Butler. Mr. Butler Notes.

Page 315

9th March, 1797. — Ordered — That the committee of the whole House to whom it was referred to take into consideration a bill to explain and amend the laws now in force relating to the militia of this kingdom, be empowered to receive a clause or clauses to provide for the increase of the militia of the counties of Carlow and Kildare to six companies each.

An account of the monies paid into the treasury for recognizances forfeited and fine imposed at assizes, commissions of oyer and terminer, and general gaol delivery, and sessions of the peace, from the 25th March, 1788, to 25th March, 1796.

COUNTY OF CARLOW. A.D. 1788, Robert Cornwall, Esq., sheriff, twelve pounds, two shillings, and ten pence. — 1790, Richard Mercer, Esq., sixty-two pounds, three shillings. — 1791, Walter Kavanagh, Esq., three pounds, four shillings, and eleven pence, — 1792, John Stewart, Esq., five pounds, two shillings, and seven pence. — 1795, Jn. Maxwell, Esq., four pounds, eleven shillings, and one penny.

Parliament was dissolved on the 11th July, 1797. A new one met on the 9th January, 1798



County of Catherlogh.*

William Burton, Esq.


Sir Richard Butler, Bart.

Borough of Catherlogh.

Henry Sadlier Prittie, Esq.


William Elliot, Esq.


John Wolfe, Esq., m the room of


Mr. Elliot, who made his election


to serve for St. Canice.


Sworn 24th February, 1798.

Borough of Old Leighlin.

Edward Cooke, Esq.


Sir Boyle Roche, Bart. **

*This election was contested. The candidates were, Sir Richard Butler, Bart., Walter Kavanagh, Esq., William Burton, Esq., and Philip Newton, Esq. The votes, at the close, stood thus: Mr. Burton, 1072; Sir Richard Butler, 1068; Philip Newton, 936; Walter Kavanagh, 922.— Mr. Butler's Notes

** This is the gentleman, the blunders of whose Irish oratory afforded so much amusement; He is noticed by Sir Jonah Harrington in his Personal Sketches.

31st January, 1798. — The house being informed that an officer attended at the door, he was called in, and at the bar presented to the house, pursuant to act of parliament, Barrow navigation company, for one year ending the 31st December, 1796, seventh account, two thousand, seven hundred and eighty-six pounds, and four pence. Ordered to lie on the table.

1st June, 1798. — Barrow navigation company, for one year ending 31st December, 1797. Eighth account, presented.

Parliament was prorogued on the 6th October, 1798. From a list of all the justices of the peace who have been appointed in this kingdom since the 1st day of June, 1789, to the 30th day of April, 1798, inclusive, we collect the following names relating to the county of Carlow : Walter Kavanagh, appointed in 1790; Rev. Henry St. George, 1791; Joshua Paul, 1791 ; Samuel Carpenter, jun., 1791; Edw. Eustace, 1792 ; Henry Bruen, 1793; William Browne, 1793; Beauchamp Coldough, 1795; David La Touché, jun., 1795; John Staunton Rochfort, 1796; Bryan Kavanagh, 1796; John Butler, 1796; R. Eustace, 1790; Richard Evans, 1797; James Butler, 1797;  Joseph Hardy, 1797 ; Sir Charles Asgill, Baronet, 1797 ; Philip Newton, 1797; Henry Rudkins. 1797; Reverend Jas. M'Gbee, 1797; Nicholas Aylward Vigors, 1797 Thomas Hardy, 1797; Sir Richard Butler, Bart, 1798; Edward Eustace, 1798 ; Thos. Kavanagh, 1798.*

The county of Carlow was not exempt from the disastrous consequences of “The rebellion of 1798”. We take the following account of the previous transactions from the work of Sir Richard Musgrave, Bart., who from his personal knowledge of many of the events of those times, as well as opportunities of obtaining direct, authentic information, must be considered a competent and sufficient authority.

Not only in Carlow," says Sir Richard, " but in most of the counties of Ireland the priests in the year 1791 and 1792, began to take an accurate account of their sectaries in every family within the County. Respective parishes, which were supposed to be done with a view of ascertaining their relative strength by their numbers, when compared with the members of the established church. About the same time, maps pointing out the property of the old popish possessors, were printed and published. "

“The great zeal with which the priests began about that time to establish religious fraternities among the populace, of which the scapular was the most prominent, gave an additional proof that a conspiracy was in contemplation. This institution introduced among them an extraordinary sanctity and austerity of manners, and. afforded a trial of their silence, which was so essential to promote such a measure.

“The insolence of the lower class of people was obviously increased about the year 1793, by the following incidents: the priests were enabled to build stately chapels by the subscriptions not only of their own flock, but of Protestants; which formed a striking contrast to, and reflected on, the ruined edifices where Protestants, less enthusiastic, worshipped their God. At a time that a Protestant clergyman in that county could not obtain a sum of money to build a church for three hundred Protestants, whom he had attended for twelve years in a sooty cabin, the priest of Carlow built a college and chapel, which must have cost from three to four thousand pounds. "

In the beginning of the year 1797, the insolent looks and haughty demeanour of the peasants, who would not formerly approach a gentleman but with the greatest humility, challenged his attention .with a broad stare, often followed by a sardonic grin.

Such was the state of the county of Carlow in the month of November, 1797, when some information, sworn privately before a magistrate, gave unquestionable proofs that a conspiracy was forming; and the following event removed every doubt on that head.  Mr. Bennett, who lived near Leighlin- bridge, was rash enough to declare his detestation of a United Irishman, and that he would give five hundred pounds for the head of one; for which on the same night he was murdered, in the dead hour of the night  and his house was robbed of five hundred pounds in cash. This money, and their success in gratifying their vengeance against so respectable an enemy, inspired them so much with the hope of accomplishing their main design that they began to assemble in great numbers, and to organize with great celerity.

A gentleman passing through Leighlin-bridge, said, he made it a rule to give the people a drink; and having ordered a barrel of ale for them, the conspirators in great numbers, who seemed prepared for the business, mounted one of their drummers on the barrel, and proceeded in regular array, and with some arms, to the house of a man at Moneybeg, (Bagenal's-town), who had sworn examinations against some of them, and murdered him in his bed ; they then proceeded to the house of Mr. Bagenal, a gentleman who had formerly represented the county, but having kept behind a bank of earth, it protected them from the shot of three of his Protestant yeomen, who kept up a constant fire upon them, until an accidental shot, from a blunderbuss of one of their own party, killed one of the United men, of the inauspicious name of Paine."

“Six of his popish yeomen were posted outside his house, behind a wall, (for he kept the Protestants within it), Commanded by his lieutenant, who afterwards recommended to Mr. Bagenal, not to depend on a papist, though he, and his two sons, were of that persuasion, as he could not prevail on the three others to fire on the assailants; and he declared, that he never would serve with any of them. In their retreat they plundered and shattered the house of Mr. Mullhallan, and beat and insulted him in the most cruel and ferocious manner.

“From that time they never ceased to plunder houses of arms, and other valuable articles avoiding the patrols of Mr. Robert Rochfort, of Cloghgrenan, and Mr. Cornwall, of Myshall-lodge who, much to their honour, never ceased to harass those miscreants by night, at the head of their respective yeomen corps; while other gentlemen, palsied by fear, sought for protection by courting the priests. In short, I have been assured that the county of Carlow would have been as much desolated as the county of Wexford, but that those gentlemen, by unabated exertions and the most undaunted courage, struck terror into them, by surprising and arresting numbers of them, in their most secret haunts and recesses. "In all their depredations, they never offered any injury to the property, or insult to the person of a papist, except that income cases they took arms from such persons of that persuasion, as were not likely to use them, or were not engaged in the confederacy."

On requiring arms of a widow of the popish religion, neat Leighlin, they informed her that they were for her benefit, and that of the catholic cause. A man of the name of Hughes, appeared before Mr. Cornwall, of Myshall-lodge, a magistrate, on the 2 1st of July, and confessed that he had been a lieutenant, under a captain James Nowlan; and he stated the whole progress of the rebellion from its commencement. He stated that the night previous to the attack on Borris, Leighlin-bridge, and Bagenal's-town, he received orders from Nowlan, how he was to attack the enemy; and on asking him whom he was to consider as such, the captain replied, the king's troops and the Protestants in general. The popish rabble, and numbers of Roman Catholics in comfortable, nay in opulent situations, took oaths of allegiance before magistrates, who gave them certificates of their having done so ; and an abundance of such certificates were found in their pockets when they were made prisoners at the battle of Kilcomney, and elsewhere. "

Many Protestants were murdered, many of their houses were, burnt, and much of their property was destroyed, in that part of the county of Carlow bordering upon the county of Wicklow and Wexford. Most of the popish yeomen in the County of Carlow were disaffected, and would, had an opportunity offered, have turned their arms against their king and country. "

In Sir Richard Butler's corps of cavalry, nine papists of whom his permanent serjeant was one conspired to murder its Protestant members. The serjeant was to have posted in the rear the conspirators, who were to have fired on the Protestants in action. Seven of them were convicted and hanged, the other two fled, but coming in under the proclamation obtained their pardon. ; '*

* Memoirs of the different  rebellions In Ireland.— Appen, p. 24. 4ta ad 1801,

Mr. Burton, member for the county, had a corps of infantry, in which he discovered twenty popish traitors, whom he expelled, and seventeen of them were afterwards hanged or transported. The arms of his corps being deposited in the guard house, and guarded by six popish members, when} the insurrection was expected, they poured water into the muzzles, and wet the pans, of their firelocks. "

About thirty-six popish yeomen were shot in Carlow and its vicinity; but there was not a single instance of disaffection discovered in a Protestant, that I could hear of; except Sir Edward Crosbie, who was hanged at Carlow; and it is well known that he had long piqued himself on being a deist and a republican."•

ATTACK ON CARLOW. — On the 25th May, 1798

ATTACK ON CARLOW. — On the 25th May, 1798, the garrison of Carlow consisted of a party of the 9th Dragoons, the light company of the north Cork militia, commanded by Captain Heard, a party of the Louth militia, under Lieutenant Ogle, Sir Charles Burton's corps of yeomanry cavalry, the Carlow yeoman infantry, commanded by Captains William Burton and Hardy Eustace, and forty volunteers; in all about four hundred and fifty. Colonel Mahon of the 9th Dragoons had the chief command.

The garrison had intelligence of the intended attack by an intercepted letter, as well as from the vigilance of Lieutenant Roe, of the north Cork militia, who had observed the common people assembling near the town on the evening of the 24th May, Colonel Mahon, accordingly, made immediate preparations for the defence of the town; which were not unnecessary, as, about two o'clock on the morning of the 25th, the rebels in number about 2000, having met at the house of Sir Edward Crosbie,* marched thence into Carlow, under the command of one Roche, shouting that the town was their own. But signal was their disappointment. Their progress was unchecked until they reached the potato market in Tullow-street, where they were spiritedly attacked by two sentinels posted at the collector's door and a loyal Protestant who joined them. And so effectual was the fire of these three persons that the rebels were compelled to diverge towards the gaol, in which quarter they met an equally warm reception. In short, such was the destructive fire to which they were now exposed, that they were compelled to a speedy retreat, and endeavoured to escape by the road on which they had entered the town. Several of them took refuge in the cabins of that outlet, which were fired by the soldiery, and many of the unfortunate wretches were thus consumed. It is calculated that not less than 600 of the rebels were killed on this occasion; of which number, 417 were buried in gravel pits at the Queen's county side of Graigue-bridge.

* Gordon's History if the Rebellion of 1798. p. 77.-Sir Edward Crosbie lived at Viewmount, near Browne's-hill.

It was intended, that a junction should have been effected at Carlow between the rebels of the Queen's and Carlow counties; but the intelligence that two pieces of cannon were planted at Graigue-bridge, caused the former body to change their route. They burned the houses of some Protestants at Ballyckmoiler, and attacked the mansion of the Reverend John Whitty,** situated near Aries, and about five miles from Carlow. " But," says Sir Richard Musgrave, " it was bravely defended by himself and eleven Protestants, who kept up a constant fire, killed twenty-one rebels, and baffled all their attempts to storm or burn it. The conflict continued from three to six o'clock in the morning." We have often heard this defence mentioned in terms of the highest admiration, as one of the most brilliant actions of the rebellion.

**Now of Ricketstown, Rector of ther union of Rathvilly.

Executions by martial law followed the battle of Carlow. Among the number who suffered, was Sir Edward Crosbie, Bart. It is but justice to add, that this gentleman's friends assert his complete innocence; and Sir Jonah Barrington (who enters somewhat fully into this matter in his Personal Sketches) warmly advocates a similar opinion. The truth seems to be, that the unfortunate Baronet was somewhat tinged with the "liberal'' principles of the day, though perhaps he did not sanction the full development of them, as exhibited in open insurrection.

BATTLE OF HACKETSTOWN.— The first attack on this town occurred on the 25th of May. The rebels were, however, repulsed by the yeomanry and a party of the Antrim militia. The second and more serious affair took place on the 25th June. The small garrison consisted of the yeoman infantry, fifty men, commanded by Captain Hardy, and forty of the Antrim militia, under Lieutenant Gardiner. The country people were seen assembling on the 24th, of which intelligence was forwarded to the commanders of the neighbouring yeomanry corps; but, with the exception of Captain Chamney's, none of them were enabled to render any assistance. The rebels were 13,000 strong, commanded by Garret Byrne of Ballymanus, his brother William, Messrs. Perry, M'Mahon, Michael Reynolds and Edward Fitzgerald. The garrison issued forth to attack them, which served as a feint, but on their retreat Captain Hardy and four men were killed. Some of the infantry, whose entire force was about one hundred and twenty, took possession of the barrack, while others entrenched themselves behind a breast-work which had been previously constructed.

The rebels, supposing their victory certain, raised a tremendous yell, and rushed towards the town, but they were received with a steady, well-directed fire from the garrison. They then set fire to the houses, every one of which, except the barrack and two more, were speedily in flames. The scene at this period must have been horrible; the incessant fire of the musketry, the cries of the rebels, the smoke, the flames, the falling houses; but all did not daunt the spirit of the gallant band who defended the town. The Rev. James M'Ghee had secured himself and nine men in
one of the houses which remained untouched by the fire, and, together with those within the barrack, maintained a deadly fire on the rebelsa; who, finding all their efforts unavailing, retreated, at half-past three o'clock. In this very severe engagement, which Continued for the greater part of a summer's day, the loss of the rebels has been calculated at five hundred killed; more than twenty cars loaded with dead and wounded were removed by them. The loss of the loyalists was but eleven men killed and fifteen wounded. The achievement was certainly glorious, when relative numbers are considered, “we feel no small pride, that such invaluable men as the Hacketstown YEOMANRY should have been found within the boundaries of the County of Carlow. Do not such men merit encouragement and protection?

With reference to the Rev. J. M'Ghee and his men Sir Richard Musgrave remarks: "That gallant party would have Been unable to defend themselves for want of ammunition, had not lieutenant Fenton, of the Talbot's-town cavalry, been providentially prevented from attending his duty by a contusion, occasioned by a fall from his horse, as he sat behind a pier between two windows making cartridges; and to the immortal honour of Mrs. Fentoii, she continued to go about the house, and to supply the besieged with refreshments during their laborious and perilous service ; and when their itoek of balls was exhausted, she broke up her pewter plates, and cast bullets of them with her own hand, which her husband made up into cartridges." — The garrison retreated to Tullow in the evening. Subsequently to the battle, the same body of rebels burned the house of every Protestant for a circuit of six miles around Hacket'stown, and murdered all the inmates who fell into their hands.*

BORRIS. — "Mr. Kavanagh, of Borris," says Sir Richard Musgrave, " having been distinguished for his loyalty, and his activity as a magistrate, was peculiarly the object of rebel vengeance." — On the night of the 2-ith May, Borris house was attacked by a body of 5,000 rebels; they were, however, repulsed by Captain Kavanagh's yeomanry corps, with, the loss of fifty men killed and wounded. On the 12th June, a second attack was made on the town of Borris, when the rebels burned the houses of Mr. Kavanagh's yeomanry. At the mansion house, which was garrisoned by twenty of the Donegal militia and seventeen of the yeomanry, they met a formidable resistance. They were commanded by Kearns, a priest, who was afterwards hanged at Edenderry. The rebels had a howitzer with which they attempted to break down the walls of the house, but were unsuccessful. They were finally obliged to retreat, with considerable loss. " One of the rebels," says Sir Richard Musgrave, " who was wounded and could not retreat, proved to be a tenant of Mr. Kavanagh, who lived close to his house, and to whom he had been singularly kind. On being asked why he embarked in this treasonable enterprise, he confessed, that he was tempted to do so, by a promise of obtaining a portion of his estate."

At Kilcomney, near Borris, a brief action took place; the king's forces being commanded by Sir Charles Asgill. A few discharges of artillery were sufficient to cause the flight of the rebels. They retreated to the county of Wexford, through Scullogh-gap; pursued by the army with great slaughter for six miles. The entire of their cannon, baggage, stores, and provisions fell into the hands of the loyalists.

From a paper of the rebel conspirators read at their national committee, on the 26th Feb. 1798, we learn that the number of their armed men in the county of Carlow was 9,4 14; finances there in hand, 49/. 2s. lOd. The following are two resolutions agreed to on the same occasion: " Resolved — That each county who have not yet paid up their finances, shall be requested to pay seventy-pounds, except the county of Carlow, which shall only pay forty-pounds. Resolved — That the counties of Carlow, Meath, Wicklow, Derry, Down, and Antrim deserve well of their country, for their manly offer of emancipating her directly; but that they be requested to bear the shackles of tyranny a little longer, until the whole kingdom shall be in such a state of organization as will by their joint co-operation, effect without loss their desirable point, which is hourly drawing to a crisis."

We remarked, that the immediate consequences of the existence of the volunteer force were not unhappy. The following extract from a paper circulated by the concocters of the rebellion will show the use to which the organization and proceedings of that body were shortly afterwards applied. We print the capitals and italics as in the original : — " And we do call on and most earnestly exhort our brethren THE VOLUNTEERS OF IRELAND, who may in fact establish, as they have in theory restored, the independence of their native land : we call upon all our countrymen in general to follow our example, and to form similar societies in every quarter of the kingdom for the promotion of constitutional knowledge and the dispensation of genuine Whig principles; the people when thus collected will feel their own weight and secure that power  which theory has already admitted as their portion, and to which ifl hey be- not aroused by their present provocations to vindicate it, they deserve to forfeit their pretensions for EVER. Nothing can more clearly demonstrate, than the preceding passage, the pernicious, baneful consequences arising from the advocacy of wild, undefined notions of popular liberty. The mind of the unthinking multitude thus receives an impetus, which hurries them on to lengths, from which, perhaps, the beginners or fomenters of the work would themselves recoil. Let the Whigs behold what were considered their genuine principles; let them learn, that they have been preached up as sanctioning revolution, republicanism, and rebellion.

The first lodge of the Orange Institution was founded in the county of Armagh, on the 2 1st September, 1795. The name of Orangeman, however, previously existed. "They were," says Sir Richard Musgrave, " merely a society of loyal Protestants, associated and bound together, solely for the purpose of maintaining and defending the constitution in church and state, as established by the Prince of Orange, at the glorious revolution, which they regarded as a solemn and sacred duty." This body was and is purely DEFENSIVE in its principles. Its members are men attached to a limited monarchical form of government ; they are supporters of genuine civil and religious liberty ; they are admirers of the British constitution; they are attached to British connection : they are not wild theorists ; they are not lovers of revolution: they are not fond of innovation ; they are not inclined to republican principles. They reckoned all, or nearly all the Protestant yeomanry of 1798 in their body, and were mainly the saviours of the country at that important crisis. They are the men whom a sound and wise British government would cherish and support. — The county of Carlow is indebted to John Staunton Rochfort, Esq., of Cloghgrenan, captain of the Cloydagh yeomanry, for the introduction

• By " An account of the sums of .money claimed by the suffering loyalists in the different counties in Ireland, for their losses sustained in the rebellion of 1798, and laid before the commissioners appointed by act of parliament for compensating them," we for the sum claimed by the county of Carlow was 24,8541. 14s. 7d. Parliament met on the 22nd January, 1 799.



County of Catherlogh.

William Burton, Esq.


Sir Richard Butler, Baronet.



Borough of Catherlogh,

Henry Sadlier Prittie, Esq.


John Wolfe, Esq.



Borough of Old Leighlin .

Edward Cooke, Esq.


Sir Boyle Roche, Baronet.

1st March, 1799. — Ordered — That leave be given to bring in a bill for the division of the barony of ldrone,in the county of Carlow; and that Mr. John Staunton Roohfort, (of Cloghgrenan, member for the borough of Fore, county Westmeath), colonel Barry, Sir Richard Butler, Bart., Mr. William Burton and Mr, Cornwall do prepare and bring in the same.

2nd March, 1799. — Mr. John Staunton Rochfort presented to the house, according to order, A bill for the division of the barony of Idrone in the county of Carlow; which was received and read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time on Monday next. [Said bill passed, March 6. Agreed to by the lords, March 12 Assent, March 25.] Parliament was prorogued on the 1st June, 1799, and again assembled on the 15th January, 1800, when the members for oar district were as last stated.

14th February, 1800.— Petition of the freeholders of the county of Carlow against a legislative union with Great Britain, presented. Ordered — That the said petition do lie on the table for the perusal of the members.

4th March, 1800.— Petition of the freeholders of the county of Carlow against a legislative union with Great Britain, presented.

Ordered — That the said petition do lie on the table for the perusal of the members. 7th June, 1600, — The house was moved that the order of the day, that an engrossed bill for the union of Great Britain and Ireland, be read the third time, might be wad. And they said order being read accordingly,

 * The author's father, (a member of the Tullow yeoman cavalry in 1798) joined the Orange Society. — He was a member of the Tullow lodge.

A motion was made, and the question being put, that the said bill be read a third time on Friday the 2nd day of January next, It passed in the negative. Then the said bill, according to order, was read a third time. A motion was made, and the question being put, that the said bill-do pass ; and that the title be, An act for the union of Great Britain and -Ireland. It was carried in the affirmative. A motion was made and the question being put, that the Right Hon. lord viscount Catherlogh do carry the said bill to the lords and desire their concurrence, It was carried in the affirmative. [Said bill agreed to by the lords, August 16. Received the royal assent on the 1st August, 1800.]

1st July, 1800. Ninth account of the Barrow navigation company to the 1st February, 1800, presented. On the 2nd August, parliament was prorogued, and in consequence of the Act of Union, did not again assemble in Ireland The borough of Old Leighlin was abolished, and that of Carlow deprived of one .member. A meeting of the freeholders of the county of Carlow, was held  on the 21st January, 1799.

EDWARD EUSTACE, Esq., high sheriff, in the chair; when the following resolutions were agreed to:

Resolved unanimously — That no advantages this country could derive from a union, would be a compensation for the loss of its independence.

Resolved -unanimously — That our representatives have not the power to annihilate this parliament, and to transfer to that of another kingdom the right of legislating for this nation.

 Resolved unanimously — That it is highly dangerous and improper to agitate the question of a union in the present unsettled state of this kingdom.

Resolved unanimously — That the high sheriff be requested to communicate as speedily a possible those resolutions to our representatives in parliament.

Resolved unanimously— That the conduct of the speaker deserves our warmest thanks; and from his opposition to the measure, and his knowledge of the interests of this country, and constant attention to them, we are strengthened in our present opinion.

EWD. EUSTACE, Sheriff.

Below a copy of letter from Sir Richard Butler, Bart., M.P for the county of Carlow ,to Edward Eustace, Esq., high sheriff of the county of Carlow.

“Dear Sir,

I have had the honour of your letter, enclosing the resolutions of the freeholders of the county of Carlow. I shall be always happy to receive and obey the instructions of my constituents. I lament extremely that I happened to be absent when the question of a legislative union between this kingdom and Great Britain was brought forward. Had I supposed that a measure of such importance would have been discussed in parliament, on the first day of the session, I certainly would have attended,

notwithstanding the very precarious state of health of the dearest part of my family. My sentiments on that question perfectly coincide with those expressed in the resolutions — and if the measure shall be again brought forward, be assured I will oppose it to the utmost of my power. I am &c.

“Garryhunden, January 27th, 1799. RICH. BUTLER."*

Such, it appears, were the sentiments of the freeholders of the county of Carlow OH the subject of the legislative union with Great Britain. Matters are, however, so much changed since the occurrence of that event ; the tremendous evils apprehended from the union not having arisen ; the Romanists being since admitted into parliament ; the pernicious revolutionary spirit at present abroad; these circumstances, as well as others, have placed the question in an aspect so different, that we are fully convinced, that not one ot the land owners, gentry, or Protestants, who might formerly Lave opposed the Union, would now desire to behold its repeal.

Walker's Hibernian Magazine for 1789.

("Spelling are as seen in the book")


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