Page:A Compendium of Irish Biography.djvu/139

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

they drained and ploughed. They went to work with heart and will in the homes which they had earned, and by the natural enchantment which gives to order and industry its immediate and admirable reward, the face of Ireland began once more to wear a look of quiet and prosperity. The disorderly elements could not at once and altogether be removed. In inaccessible hiding places—in the bogs and mountains, and still enormous forests—bands of outlaws who had escaped Connaught lurked, under the name of Tories, and continued a war of plunder and assassination." The foregoing would lead us to the conclusion that the letter of the law had not been kept to, either regarding the clearance to Connaught of all the Irish, or the extirpation of the clergy. Cromwell's policy aimed to put an end to a desolating and distracting eight years' war—to revenge the atrocities that he believed had been perpetrated by the Irish during this war, and to weaken a system he thought contrary to morality and truth, as the Catholics upon the Continent had, from like motives, attempted to destroy Protestantism. The following are the most eloquent portions of Carlyle's defence of Cromwell's Irish policy: "The history of the Irish war is, and for the present must continue, very dark and indecipherable to us. Ireland… has been a scene of distracted controversies, plunderings, excommunications, treacheries, conflagrations, of universal misery and blood and bluster, such as the world before or since has never seen. The history of it does not form itself into a picture, but remains only a huge blot, an indiscriminate blackness, which the human memory cannot willingly charge itself with! There are parties on the back of parties, at war with the world, and with each other. There are Catholics of the Pale, demanding freedom of religion, wider my Lord This, and my Lord That. There are Old-Irish Catholics, under Pope's Nuncios, under Abbas O'Teague of the excommunications, and Owen Roe O'Neill, demanding, not religious freedom only, but what we now call Repeal of the Union, and unable to agree with the Catholics of the English Pale. Then there are Ormond Royalists, of the Episcopalian and mixed creeds, strong for King without Covenant; Ulster and other Presbyterians, strong for King and Covenant lastly, Michael Jones and the Commonwealth of England, who want neither King nor Covenant. All these plunging and tumbling, in huge discord, for the last eight years, have made of Ireland and its affairs the black unutterable blot we speak of,… One could pity this poor Irish people… The claim they started with in 1641 was for religious freedom. Their claim, we can now all see, was just—essentially just, though full of intricacy; difficult to render clear and concessible; nay, at that date of the world's history, it was hardly recognizable to any Protestant man for just; and these frightful massacrings and slaughterings and sanguinary blusterings have rendered it for the present entirely unrecognizable… Oliver's proceedings here have been the theme of much loud criticism, and sibylline execration. To those who think that a land overrun with sanguinary quacks can be healed by sprinkling it with rose-water, these letters [Cromwell's] must be very horrible. Terrible surgery this; but is it surgery and judgment, or atrocious murder merely? That is a question which should be asked and answered. Oliver Cromwell did believe in God's judgments, and did not believe in the rose-water plan of surgery." Oliver Cromwell died 3rd September 1658. In his Parliament of 1656 both Ireland and Scotland were represented. Cromwell's account of his Irish campaign is most accessible in Carlyle's edition of his Letters and Speeches. 91 92 93 141 175

Crone, Robert, an eminent artist, born in Dublin about the middle of the 18th century. Having studied at home, he proceeded to Rome, and put himself under Richard Wilson, the landscape painter. He died in London in 1779. "His landscapes are scarce, but excellent, and there are some of his drawings in the royal collection." 276

Crosbie, Rrichard, aeronaut, born in the County of Wicklow in 1755, was one of the first if not the first native of the British islands to make a balloon ascent. [The first ascent ever made was by Pilatre de Rozier, in a balloon of Mongolfier's, at Paris, 21st November 1783; and the first in England was by Luuardi, an Italian, in London, on the 21st September 1784.] Crosbie was of a mechanical genius, and reading of Mongolfier's success, and having made preliminary experiments by sending up cats in cars attached to small balloons, he ascended on 19th January 1785, from Ranelagh Gardens, near Dublin, and descended safely on the North Strand. The Annual Register says: "The balloon and chariot were beautifully painted, and the arms of Ireland emblazoned on them in superior elegance of taste… His aerial dress consisted of a robe of oiled silk, lined with white fur, his waistcoat and breeches in one, of white satin quilted,