CROMWELL IN IRELAND– SALE OF DEBENTURES BY THE COMMON SOLDIERS TO THEIR OFFICERS.
SALE OF DEBENTURES BY THE COMMON SOLDIERS TO THEIR OFFICERS.
(See p. 186.)
By the Act for the settlement of Ireland, passed at the King’s Restoration, innocent Papists were to be restored forthwith, and the soldier who was dispossessed to be reprised. But the soldiers looked upon reprisals as mere notional or moonshine, and to retain their possession was what they looked to. Innocency or nocency was not their concern, but “shall I lose my lands ?”*
This produced a conspiracy, commonly called the “Phanatic Plot of 1663,” to seize the Castle and overturn the Government. The temper of the times appears by such instances as the following, which are taken from depositions sworn after the plot had been defeated, and the Duke of Ormond was seeking for evidence :—
One swore that upon St. Luke’s Day, in the year 1662. he did come into a house in Kilbeggan, where one Sergeant Beverly and some others were in company, and one of them did say unto the said sergeant, that he was called “One of Cromwell’s doggs;” whereupon Beverly answered, “they should let Cromwell alone, for he was the best man that ever reigned in the three nations, or that ever would, either of King, Prince, or any other; and if the King thinks to take away our lands that we gained by Cromwell and our swords, and to give it to those that are now come into the land, he shall be deceived; for we will join our heads together again, and have one knock for it first, my life for it.”t
Of the same mind were the ‘officers. Major Alexander Jephson, and Colonel Edward Warren, died in defence of the same cause. Major Jephson, in his dying speech ‘upon the gibbet, declared that they rose because of the corrupt acting (as he called it) of the Court of Claims, “turning poor Englishmen unjustly out of their lands;—out of that which they have been a-getting and keeping by Englishmen’s blood and purses this Jive hundred years.”\
The officers now began to regret that they had not kept their former comrades in the war as fellow-planters and neighbours, in
* Michael, Bishop of Cork, to the Duke of Ormond, 29th of May, and 5th of June, 1668. Carte MSS., G. G., pp. 296, 822, Bodleian Library, Oxford.
Carte MSS., Ireland, vii., p. 258