Page images

these barbarous wretches, who have imbrued their hands in so much innocent blood; and that it will tend to prevent the effusion of blood for the future. Which are the satisfactory grounds to such actions, "which otherwise cannot but work remorse and regret. The officers and soldiers of this Garrison were the flower of their Army. And their great expectation was, that our attempting this place would put fair to ruin us: they being confident of the resolution of their men, and the tdvantage of the place. If we had divided our force into two quarters to have besieged the North Town and the South Town, we could not have had such a correspondency between the two parts of our Army, but that they might have chosen to have brought their Army, and have fought with which part' of ours' they pleased,—and at the same time have made a sally with 2,000 men upon us, and have left their walls manned; they having in the Town the number hereafter specified, but some say near 4,000.

Since this great mercy vouchsafed to us, I sent a party of horse and dragoons to Dundalk; which the Enemy quitted, and we are possessed of,—as also ' of another Castle they deserted, between Trim and Drogheda, upon the Boyne. I sent a party of horse and dragoons to a House within five miles of Trim, there being then in Trim some Scots Companies, which the Lord of Ardes brought to assist the Lord of Ormond. But upon the news of Drogheda, they ran away; leaving their great guns behind them, which also we have possessed.

And now give me leave to say how it comes to pass that this work is wrought. It was set upon some of our hearts, That a great thing should be done, riot by power or might, but by the Spirit of God. And is it not so, clearly? That which caused your men to storm so courageously, it was the Spirit of God, who gave your men courage, and took it away again; and gave the Enemy courage, and took it away again; and gave your men courage again, and therewith, this happy success. And therefore it is good that God alone have all the glory.

It is remarkable that these people, at the first set up the Mass in some places of the Town that had been monasteries; but afterwards grew so insolent that, the last Lord's day before the storm, the Protestants were thrust out of the great Church called St. Peter's, and they had public Mass there: and in this very place near 1,000 of them were put to the sword, fleeing thither for safety. I believe all their friars were knocked on the head promiscuously but two: the one of which was Fathei Peter TaafF, brother to Lord Taaff, whom the soldiers took, the next day and made an end of. The other was taken in the Round Tower, under the repute «f a Lieutenant, and when he understood that the officers in that Tower had no quarter, he confessed he was a Friar; but that did not save him.

A great deal of loss in this business fell upon Colonel Hewson's, Colonel Cassel's, and Colonel Ewer's regiments. Colonel Ewer having two Field-Officers in his regiment shot; Colonel Cassel and a Captain of his regiment slain: Colonel Hewson's Captain-Lieutenant slain. I do not think we lost 100 men upon the place, though many be wounded.

I must humbly pray the Parliament may be pleased 'that' this Army may be maintained; and that a consideration may be had of them, and of the carrying on affairs here, 'such' as may give a speedy issue to this work. To which there seems to be a marvellous fair opportunity offered by God. And although it may seem very chargeable to the State of England to maintain so great a force; yet surely to stretch a little for the present, in following God's providence, in hope the charge will not be long—I trust it will not be thought by any (that have not irreconcilable or malicious principles) unfit for me to move, For a constant supply : which, in human probability as to outward things, is most likely to hasten and perfect this work. And indeed if God please to finish it here as He hath done in England, the War is like to pay itself.

We keep the field much; our tents sheltering us from the wet and cold. But yet the Country-sickness overtakes many: and therefore we desire recruits, and some fresh regiments of foot, may be sent us. For it's easily conceived by what the Garrisons already drink up, what our Field-Army will come to, if God shall give more Garrisons into our hands. Craving pardon for this great trouble, I rest,

Your most obedient servant,

Oliver Cromwell.

P. S. Since writing of my Letter, a Major who brought off forty-three horse from the Enemy told me that it's reported in their camp that Owen Roe and they are agreed.

The defendants in Drogheda consisted of: The Lord of Ormond's regiment; Sir Edmund Varney Lieutenant-Colonel's, of 400: Colonel Byrn's, Colonel Warren's, and Colonel Wall's of 2,000; the Lord of Westmeath's, of 200 ; Sir James Dillon's, of 200; and 200 horse*

The report as to Owen Roe O'Neil is correct. Monk, who had lately in Ulster entered upon some negotiation with O'Neil and his Old-Irish Party, who, as often happened, were in quarrel

• Newspapers; in Parliamentary History (London, 1763), xix., 201. VOL. I. 18

with the others, found himself deserted by his very soldiers, and obliged to go to England; where this policy of his, very useful as Monk had thought, is indignantly disavowed by the Authorities, who will not hear of such a connexion.* Owen Roe O'Neil appears to have been a man of real ability; surely no able man, or son of Order, ever sank into a more dismal welter of confusions unconquerable by him! He did no more service or disservice henceforth; he died in some two months, of a disease in the foot, —poisoned, say some, by the gift of a ' pair of russet-leather boots' which some traitor had bestowed on him.f

Such was the Storm of Tredah. A thing which, if one wanted good assurance as to the essential meaning of it, might well 'work remorse and regret:' for indisputably the outer body of it is emphatic enough! Cromwell, not in a light or loose manner, but in a very solemn and deep one, takes charge for himself, at his own peril, That it is a Judgment of God: and that it did 'save much effusion of blood,' we and all spectators can very readily testify. 'The execrable policy of that Regicide,' says Jacobite Carte on the occasion, ' had the effect he proposed. It spread abroad the terror of his name; it cut'—In fact, it cut through the heart of the Irish War. Wexford Storm followed (not by forethought, it would seem, but by chance of war) in the same stern fashion; and there was no other storm or slaughter needed in that Country. Rose-water Surgeons might have tried it otherwise; but that was not Oliver's execrable policy, not the Rose-water one. And so we leave it, standing on such basis as it has.

Ormond had sent orders to 'burn' Dundalk and Trim before quitting them; but the Garrisons, looking at Tredah, were in too much haste to apply the coal. They marched away at doublequick time; the Lord Lieutenant got possession of both Towns unburnt. He has put Garrisons there, we see, which ' drink up' some of his forces. He has also despatched Colonel Venables, of whom we shall hear again, with a regiment or two to raise what Siege there may be at Derry, and assist in settling distracted Ulster; a service they rapidly accomplished, without much hurt,

• tO August, 1649 (Commons Journals, vi., 277). t Carte, ii., 83.

though not without one imminent peril—by a camisado, or surprisal in the night-time, which is afterwards alluded to in these Letters. The Lord Lieutenant himself, who dates from Dublin, rests but a few days there; then sets out Southward on a new series of operations.


For the Honorable William Lenthall, Speaker of the Parliament of England: These.

Wexford, 14th October, 1649


The Army marched from Dublin, about the 23d of September, into the County of Wicklow, where the Enemy had a Garrison about fourteen miles from Dublin, called Killincarrick; which they quitting, a Company of the Army was put therein. From thence the Army marched through almost a desolated country, until it came to a passage ovei the River Doro,* about a mile above the Castle of Arcklow, which was the first seat and honor of the Marquis of Ormond's family. Which he had strongly fortified: but it was, upon the approach of the Army, quitted ;—wherein we left another Company of Foot.

From thence the Army marched towards Wexford; where in the way was a strong and large Castle, at a town called Limbrick, the ancient seat of the Esmonds; where the Enemy had a strong Garrison; which they burnt and quitted, the day before our coming thither. From thence we marched towards Ferns, an episcopal seat, where was a Castle; to which I sent Colonel Reynolds with a party to summon it. Which accordingly he did, and it was surrendered to him; where he having put a company,—advanced the Army to a passage over the River Slaney, which runs down to Wexford; and that night, we marched into the fields of a Village called Enniscorthy, belonging to Mr. Robert Wallop ;t

* River Dorrha it is now called Avoca: and well known to musical persons.

t Wallop is Member (' recruiter') for Andover; a King's-Judge; Member of the Council of State; now and afterwards a conspicuous rigorous republican man. He has advanced money, long since, we suppose, for the Public Service in Ireland.; and obtained in payment this ' fair House,' and Superiority of Enniscorthy; properties the value or no-value of which will much depend on the Lord Lieutenant's success at present.—Wallop's representative, a Peer of the Realm, is still owner here, as it has proved

where was a strong Castle very well manned and provided for by the Enemy: and, close under it, a very fair House belonging to the same worthy person,—a Monastery of Franciscan Friars, the considerablest in all Ireland: they ran away the night before we came. We summoned the Castle; and they refused to yield at the first; but upon better consideration, they were willing to deliver the place to us; which accordingly they did; leaving their great guns, arms, ammunition and provisions behind them.

Upon Monday, the First of October, we came before Wexford. Into which the Enemy had put a Garrison, consisting of 'part of their Army; this Town having, until then, been so confident of their own strength as that they would not, at any time, suffer a Garrison to be imposed upon them. The Commander that brought in those forces was Colonel David Synott; who took upon him the command of the place. To whom I sent a Summons; between whom and me there passed answers and replies:

"For the Lord General Cromwell.

"Sir,—I received your Letter of Summons for the delivery of this Town into your hands. Which standeth not with my honor to do of myself; neither will I take it upon me, without the advice of the rest of the Officers, and Mayor of this Corporation; this Town being of so great consequence to all Ireland. Whom I will call together, and confer with; and return my resolution to you, to-morrow by twelve of the clock.

"In the meantime, if you be so pleased, I am content to forbear all acts of hostility, so you permit no approach to be made. Expecting your answer in that particular, I remain,—my Lord,—your Lordship's servant,

"D. Synott."

"To the Commander-in-chief of the Town of Wexford.

"Sir.—I am contented to expect your resolution by twelve of the clock to-morrow morning. Because our tents are not so good a covering as your houses, and for other reasons, I cannot agree to a cessation. I rest,—your servant,

"oliver Cromwell."

Whilst these papers were passing between us, I sent the LieutenantGeneral* with a party of dragoons, horse and foot, to endeavor to reduce

* Michael Jones.

« PreviousContinue »