Sidor som bilder

and capture of the castle or tower-house of Glin, Co. Limerick, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, will afford our readers an idea of the manner in which such enterprises were carried on in Ireland little more than two and a half centuries ago. The matter will be found at length in the Pacata Hibernica, or Ireland Appeased and Reduced,” under the government of Sir George Carew, some time Lord President of Munster. The s'ory of the siege is illustrated by a very well-executed bird's-eye view, exhibiting the then state of the castle, which consisted of the usual principal tower, with raised tuurets at its corners. The tower is enclosed in a courtyard of small size, of a quadrangular form, and with circular flanking towers at two of its anyies. The works are further strengthened on the south-western side by a tributary to the Shannon, and on the opposite side by a small but probably deep stream, on which stands the castle mill We have here a very interesting representation of the tower house or castle of an Irish gentleinan (the kuight of Glin of the time), as it existed when such buildings were generally used. Juriju, from a considerable portion of the castle still remaining, we should say that at the time of its memorable siege the work must have been at least two centu.icz old. The account is admittedly made by the direction and appointment of Sir George Carew, afterwards Earl of Totness, and was by bim reserved, with other matters of history, for his own private information ; secondly, for a furtherance of a general history of Ireland, and lastly, out of his “retyred modestie,” the rather by him held back from the stage of publication, “lest himself being a priucipal actor in many of the particulars, might be perhaps thonght, under the narration of public proceedings, to give vent and utterance to his private merit and services, howsoever justiy memorable.”

With the general history of the war in Munster, we shall not now meddle, suffice it to say that on the 5th of July A.D. 1600, the president, who, with a considerable

hall been for some time “ appeasing,” that is, burning and harrying many portions of the country southwest of Limerick, sat down before the castle of Gliu, then defended by a constable in the service of the knight of Glin, rho was absent. An English vessel of war lay at anchor before the castle, but does not appear to have taken part in the fight. The army was no sooner encanıped and entrenched than the ordnance, consisting of one demy cannon, and one sacre," was planted before the castle without any resistance, or the loss of a single man, “ by reason of of a parlie that was purposely to that end entertained, during wbich the work was performed.” The knight having arrived at the camp under safe conduct, desire 1 to confer with the president, but was refused without absolute submission to her Majesty's mercie, whereunto he would not yild but upon conditions, whereapon he was commanded to depart; he saw the cannon already planted, and his sonne, then a child, in the president's hands, ready at his will to be executed, being by himself formerly put in pledge for his loyaltie ; then he desired to speak with the Earl of

Thomond again, which was granted, but the Earl found his obstinacie to be such, as he disdained to have any long conference with bim ; and so being safely convered out of the camp, he returned to his fellow traiiors, woo were on the top of an bill not far from where they might see the success of the castle. When he was gone, the same day towards eveving the constable of the castle (who was a Thomond man borne) sent a messenger to the Earl of Thomond, praying his Lordship to get a safe conduct from the president, that he might come aud speak with him, which being granted, in his discourse to the Earl; My Lord (said he), in the love I beare you, being your natural follower, I desired to speak with you to the end that you may avoid the peril that you are in ; for the Earl of Desmond, and the Connaght men lodge not two miles from this place; they are three thousand strong at least, and the Lord President may be assured, that they will give upon his camp, for so they are resolved ; and in all likelitood you will be there put to the sword, or driven into the River of Shenan. The earl deriding these threats, alvised bim to render up the castle to the president, whereby his life and bis felows might be secure, which he with vain-glorious obstinacie refused, and returned to the castle for a farewell, sent him word that since he had refused the Earl of Thomond's favourable offer, that he was in hope, before two days were spent, to have his head set upon a stake ; which proved true (as you shall hear) before the castle was taken."

Next morning, when the besiegers wanted the cannon to play, it was found that the piece was “all cloge-4," and neither cannonier nor smith could do anything with it. The President thereupon ordered that the muzzlo of the gun should be elevated as much as possible, and a full charge of powder and ball “rouled” into it, and fire given at the mouth. To the great rejoicing of the army, by this means the touch-bole was cleared and the gun planted; the modest president then took the knight's eldest son, a child six years old, and tied hiin on the top of one of the gabions, sending word io the people in the castle that they should have a fair mark to try their small shot npon. The constable answered that the fear for the boy's life would not make them forbear to direct their volleys against the battery, that the knight might have a: other son, etc., whereupon the president ordered the poor child to be taken duwd from his perilous position, knowing that one discharge of the gun would shake his bones asunder.

The battery was presently opened, and so incessant a fire of small arms kept up against the castle, which seems to have possessed 10 artillery, that none of the defenders dared show themselves until a breach was made in a cellar under the great ball.

Then was Captaine Flower commanded by the President, with certaine companies assigned unto him, to enter the breach, which he valiantly performed, and gained the hall, and enforced the ward to returne to the castle close adjoining unto it, where from out of a spike, they slewe four of our men; then he ascended a pair of






staires to gain two turrets over the hall, in which attempt Captaine Bostock's Ensigne was slaine, by the winning whereof they were in better security than before, and there were our colours placed, and because it was by this time within night, Captaine Slingsby (who was there with the President's companie) was commanded to make it good till the morning, during which time some whiles on either side, small shot played, but little or no harm done. About midnight the constable, seeing no possibilitie to resist long, and no hope of mercy left, thought by the favour of the night in a sally to escape ; but the guards were so vigilant, as they slewe him and some others; but nevertheless two escaped, the rest which were unslaine returned to the castle, and the constable's head was (as the President formerly had told him) put on a stake. Early in the morning the ward was gotten into the tower of the castle, whereunto there was no comming unto them but up a narrow stayre, which was so straight as no more than one at once might ascend, and at the stayre foot, a strong wooden door, which being burnt, the smoke in the stairs was such, as for two hours there was no ascending without hazard of stifling ; when the extremitie of the smoke was past, one of the rebels presented himself, and said in behalf of himself and fellows, “That if their lives might be saved, they would render ;' but before any auswer was made, he voluntarily put himself into our hands. The smoke being vanished, a muskettier, and to his second a halbardier, then Captaine Flower and Captaine Slingsbie, Lieutenant Power, Lieutenant to Sir Henry Power; Ensigne Power, Sir Henry Power's Ensigne; Lieutenant Nevile, Lieutenant to Sir Garratt Tarvie, which was afterwards killed in Connoght, seconded by others, ascended the stairs in file, where they found no resistence, nor yet in the upper rooms, for the rebels were all gone to the battlements of the cistle with resolution to sell their lives as dear as they could. Our men pursued the way to the battlements, whereunto tiere was but one door ; Captaine Flower entered upon one hand, and Captaine Slingsby upon the other ; the gutters were very narrow between the roof of the castle and the battlements. clusion, some were slain in the place, and others leaped from the tip of the castle into the water underneath it, where our guards killed them. In this service eleven soldiers were slain, whereof one was an ensigne, and one and iwenty hurt, of which number the serjeant major (who served admirably well) was one ; he received three or four wounds, but none of them mortal; there was also the lieutenants of the Earl of Thomond, and Sir Henry Power hurt; of the enemy (of all sorts) were slain 80 or thereabouts, of which 23 were naturale borne followers of the Knight of the Valley, in whom he reposed greatest confidence.”

When that memorable Act of Parliament, by which old Irish estates, mouldy with debts, were made liable to be sold to the highest and best bidder, to clear off the extravagances or misfortunes of sticcessive inheritors, came into existence, many people who thought they could see a bit into the future, predicted that something very bad would come of it. As we all know, everything very good has come of it. There has been, so to speak, a salutary social earthquake brought about by it. The face of the old country has been tumbled up and carved out anew; and the general opinion is that it's all the better for the shaking and the cutting. This most respectable Act of Parliament has made such a character for itself since it was first set agoing in a tall house in Henrietta-street, that it has received a renewal of the lease of its existence-its powers have been extended ever so much ; the learned gentlemen having the care of it, have been created judges of the land, and of late it has had so much important business on hands that a large and handsome building, with ever so many courts and offices in it, has been erected expressly for it to work in, with comfort to itself and advantage to the public. When it first came into public life, it occupied a dingy house in the quiet locality known as Henrietta-street, about which, and the matters transacted therein during its earlier years, this paper will chiefly concern itself.

About half way up the street, as you go towards the King's Inus, there's a very tall hou-e, with a great many windows looking on the front, but presenting nothing remarkable to distinguish it from the other very tall houses, with a great many windows looking on the front, at either side of the street. A serviceable iron pallisading runs along this tall house, immediately enclosing what you would say, if you were sworn to the best of your belief, was the front parlour window, and apparently erected more wi h an eye to burglars than to effect. An ordinary black knocker, exhibiting a very unprepossessing, indeed, a very savage countenance, is stuck on the ball-door; the use of a “scraper” may be enjoyed at either side of the door, and other modern luxuries of a like character, not exclusively peculiar to Henrietta-street, are observable about the exterior of this building.

The attention of any observant stranger who found himself in Henrietta street during Term timo, sume eight or nine years ago, would most certainly be attracted towards this tall house by having his progress on the flag-way in its vicinity obstructed rather frequently and abruptly by the hasty movements of a large number of persons, the majority being the carriers of documents made up in tidy bundles, who, for the mosi part, came over the way from another tall house at the other side of the street, rushed up the stone stairs leading to the

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hall-door of our particular tall house, which stool open -bolting in at a side door, which was se'f-ac:ing so far as closing was concerned, and whicli, being lett by each one who entered to shut as best it might, kept swinging and banging all the day long, with various degrees of intensity, dependent on circumstances over which it had no control. Others again, with tidy bundles, bolted out at the side door, down the stone stairs, and across to the other tall house over the way. The same observant stranger, on looking about him very naturally to learn what all this bustle, in the centre of so calm a region, meant, would be made aware by an inscription on the hall-door, executeil in small while letters, that the Commissioners for the Sale of Incumbered Estates carried on business within. One fine diy I, being an observant stranger in these parts, noticed the several matters referred to; and being also a stranger of an inquiring turn of mind, I went up the steps, and pushed and banged the side-door, like everybody else, and went in to explore the interior. An elderly porter, of small proportions, in a species of livery, who was seated at the window of the apartment, two-thirds hall and onethird kitchen, on which the banging door opened, in reply to my question as to whether there was anything particular going on, said there were “ sales” to-day at twelve o'clock. Pursuivg the direction indicated by him, I go in scarch of the Court; and after traversing a very long and very narrow whitewashed and matted passage, through two doors, that are swinging and banging like that outside, I find myself in the Incumbered Estates Court-a large, unfinished-looking apartment, with a damp and empty air about it, baving an el valed seat, under muddy green hangings, for the Commissioners, and a plentiful supply of benches for the accommodation of the general public. The “renials," which are distributed in court, inform me that the Castlescrimmage estate, the Right Ilonorable Somebody-or-Another, owner and petitioner, will be put up 10 auction at noon ; that the property has been divided into nice tidy lots to suit purchasers, and that the entire estate is peopled with the most prosperous, contented, and amiable tenantry extant. Drawn liither, no doubt, by such inducements for a profitable investment, capitalists have assembled in large numbers. They are dis. persed about the court, some talking in groups, for the Commissioner, as was then his title, hasn't yet entered ; others are seated on the benches, with rentals of the estate spread out before them, studying with serious faces the descriptive particulars which they find set forth there, the net annual value, ordnance valuation, and other interesting information relative to some favourite lot, and making arithmetical calculations with the view of ascertaining up to ubat amount it would be sate to bid for a particular slice of the Castlescrimma c estate.

Here are healthy, comfortable-looking meil, who, I assume, have farms on this estate, and who, no doubt, could tell almost to the stone weight what the property is capable of yielding per acre, and they are naturally anxious to know the individual to whom they shall be “knocked down'' as tenants in pos.

session. Some of them who are well to do, meditate, perhaps, the purchase of a small lot, and I can see that they are very earnest about the matter. At the table under the registrar's desk, the solicitor having the car. riage of the sale, distinguishable by the package of rentals before him, and other parties interested in the property or in its sale, aro seated.

A side-door near the bench opens, and a tall, middleaged gentleman, attired in every-day habiliments, enters.

This is the Commissioner, who takes his seat under the muddy green canopy; whereupon people who are in carnest produce their pencils, and prepare seriously for the bidding. The auction clerk, who has arriveil with his sales book under his arm, takes up his positioa beneath the bench, opens the volume, aud calmly proceeds to business. Having recited the title of the estate this gentleman informs all whom it may concern, that Lot No. 1, consisting of the towuland of Toormore East, contains 161 acres, 1 rood, 12 perches, plantation measure, equivalent, he says, to 261 acres, 1 rood, 9 perches, stainte measure; that the gross anugal rent of this portion is £116 2s. 100., and that, after deducting head rent and tithe rent-charge, it yielded a net yearly profit rent of £100 17s. 100. Then be gives out the valuation of the property, and tells, from the "descrip:ive particulars," all about how these lands are well adapted for either tillage or pasture, having a rich loamy surface on a limestone subsoil, with an abuu daut supply of turbary-low they are famously situated with respect to main roads, railroads, rivers, and market towns, atitud. ing altogether a most desirable investruent. Then he asks, in a most confidential sort of way, what we shall say for the lot ? Eight hundred pounds to begin with, he says. Eight hundred pounds for Lot No. 1. Aed fifiy, somebody says. Eight hundred and filty—the auction clerk repeats, making a rapid entry as he speaks. Then people go on bidding from fifty pounds to tive, or nodding these sums at the auction clerk, who simultaneously records the bidding, and announces the various advances in a dashing off-hand style, as if fifty pound bids were mere trifles to him.

Nive hundred pounds are bid for Lot No. 1, he says—and twenty. Nine hundred and twenty pounds bid for Lot No. 1-and thirty. Nine hundred and thirty—and filty (always with an cutry in the book, which he doesu't seem to look at). One thousand pounds bid for Lot No. 1—and ten—and twenty—and five. Very many people have been bidding and nodding at the auction clerk, who is very busy looking about him, and sciatching entries in his book. Again, summing up the biddings for the general information, he announces that one thousand and thirty-five pounds hare been bid for the lot, and he desires to know whether there is any advance on that sim? Somebody spasmodically says "ten," and the auction clerk enters ten in his book, and adding ten to the biddings, announces the sun total up to the present. Is there any advance, he wants to know, as he searches the assembled count nances with his keen eyes, on one thousand and forty-five pounds?

Now the "bids” become fewer, and smaller in amount,

and are chiefly confined to an old-fashionel, nervous, he could discover a five pound note or so in the eye of spectacled gentleman on the back benchez, who is inak- any individual present; and the learnel Commissioner, ing very great efforts to appear unconcerned, and a who up to this time had been a silent spectator of these party on one of the side seats near the stove, who, with- exciting proceedings, lifts--not a hammer, as may very out raising his head from the rental before him, quietly naturally be the popular supposition-but his quill pen, increases the last offur—and always by tens-before the

and in somewhat of a solemn manner, says very slowly, bidder who precades bim has quite finished, as if he had and with much emphasis (evidently with the humane made up his mind to continue advancing into the mid- intention of giving bidders time to collect their fluttered dle of next week if necessary, and to have the lot if the senses) "010 thousand and seventy-five pounds havworld was bidding against him. A stout, farmer-like ing been bid for Lot No. 1, and there being no advance, personage, who up to this had been an emphatic and declare the bidder of one thousand and seventy-five prominent bidder from his seat in the front row, right pounds" and ten," the gentleman in the spectacles opposite the auction clerk, no :v gives in with a very bad says, as if he had awakened in a great fright. grace, indeed, and leaning back sulkily, mops his large Everybody, including the auction clerk, who is again face with a red pocket-handkerchief.

on his legs, now looks at the gentleman near the stove, One thousand and forty-five pounds bid for Lot No. who gives his nod, valile ten pounds, whereupou every1, resumes the auction clerk, who, with his left hand body, including the auction clerk, looks at Mr. Brown, , under his coat tails, looks complacently amongst the who appears to have arrived at a pitiable state of crowd, inviting further biddings. Any advance on one anxiety and indecision. That gentleman makes no sign thousand and forty-five pounds? Are you done, Mr. of pumping up another five pounds, and, after a pause, Brown ? he asks, in a low tone of the anxious gentle- the auction clerk having subsidied into his seat, the man behind the spectacles, for the last bid came from Commissioner lifts his pen, and in the same measured the aggravatingly imperturbable individual at the side. tones repeats the formula—"One thousand and ninetyOf course, every body very naturally looks at Mr. Brown, five pounds having been bid, and there being no further who looks at the rental, and takes hurried counsel with advance, declare the bidder of one thousand and ninetyhis friend who sits near him, after which he looks un- five pounds"—the learned Commissioner again pause 3 casily over his spectacles, and says “ five,” as if the on the pounds for a moment, and then emphatically word had been pumped out of bim; and then he ap- finishes the sentence with the purchaser;" and 161 plies himself again to the rental.

acres, 1 rood, and 12 perches, plantation measure, pass The auction clerk announces that there are one thon- alvay fro n the old proprietor, and become vested in the sand and fifty pounds bid for Lot No. 1, and he looks spirited bidder of one thousand and ninety-five pounds, significantly at the gentleman on the side benches, who who, with the air of a man who could have told you quietly nods him ten pounds, as if it was a matter of half an hour ago that it would come to that, makes al course that he should advance that sum on his friend pencil mark on the margin of his rental, and turns to with the spectacles. The auction c'erk increases the Lot No. 2. Mr. Brown takes off his spectacles, wipes biddings by ten, and announces the sum total. The the glasses carefully with his pocket-handkerchief, as if thing is now becoming rather exciting, and people begin 10 show how collected he is, replaces them on his counto laugh, and to look at Mr. Brown, whose turn it is to tenance, and looks severely over them at the bidder of advance if he would have Lot No. 1. Mr. has one thousand and ninety-five pounds, as if he consievidently set his heart on Lot No. 1; but so has his un- dered that that person had acted an unhandsome part, flinching opponent at the side. Mr. Brown again con- to say the least of it; and soon after Mr. Brown retires sults his friend and the rental very hurriedly, and then, with his friend. with a miserable effort to be calm, he offers another five Everybody is all attention again, and there's a general pounds. One thousand and sixty-five pounds bid for turning over of rental leaves, as Lot No. 2 is " put up” Lot No. 1, the auction clerk says, as quietly as if he by the auction clerk, who asks, as before, what we shall were disposing of a chest of drawers at a furniture sale. say for the lot, and then says something himself, after The party on the side bench nods another ten pound noto which a great many people say something for it, and to the auction clerk, who keeps his eye carefully on him. the bidding goes on briskly at first, from every corner The gentleman with the spectacles, who feels now that of the court, then becoming select, goes ou more slowly he is bidding against a man who has made up his mind and cautiously, then tardily and hesitatingly, and finally, that he wont be beaten under any circumstances what- is confined to two individuals, who struggle with each ever, thinks 'tis high time for him to pull up; accord- other, as in the case of Brown and Jones, and spasmodic ingly, he adjusts bis glasses, and remaios silent, care- bids are offered at long intervals, until at length the fully avoiding that quick eye of the auction clerk, which Commissioner repeats his formula abont so much having he feels is on him. “ One thousand and seventy-five been bid, and there being no further advance, etc., and pounds bid for Lot No. 1,” says that official, looking very in due time, by the power that is in him, be transfers hard at the gentleman with the spectacles, who affects another lot of acres, roods, and perches, fine old trees to relish a pinch of snuff, and holds his peace.

and farm houses, to the highest and best bidder. The auction clerk now slowly lowers himself into bis In due time the Castlescrimmage property is disposed seat, after a finishing glance round the court to see if of, when, if there is no other estate to be sold, the court

ried on in the g'oomy old court in Henrietta-street. The “ Commissioners” of the old court, who are stila Judges in the new, still dispose of the property to the highest and best bidder. The Judge's registrar puts up the e iute and records the bidling, and the Jones api Brown episode is often witnessed in the new carts, and, as was the case in that mem rable incident, the Judge eventually puts an end to the excitement by liiting his pen an i pronouncing, in measured words, that impressive formula about so much having been bid for the lot, and there being no advance, etc., winding op by declaring somebody the purchaser.

T. B.





rises unceremoniously, and each individual purchaser departs, as easy in his mind as to his purchase, as if he had his share locked up in his strong box at home, and the key thereof in his pocket.

This tall old house, in which these exciting prized. ings used to take place, is how shut up. The square, cheerless, old-fashioned chamber, where the “full court” used to sit, is given up to lumber, cobwebs, and dust; the doors, once so noisily busy, are done swinging and banging, and the steps in the street are deserted. The other tall house over the way, which was likewise rented for the purposes of the Act in its juvenile days, is also shut up; and the two tall houses now stare each other glocmily across the street, through all their dusty windows. For the term of the existence of the Act having been enlarged, and its powers having been made more extensive and imp rtant, it has given up its old houses in Henrietta-street as altogether unsuited to its new status, and has taken itself away, with its parchments and deeds, rentals and clerks, to the large ne building near the Four Courts, where it keeps up a most excellent establishment, and is very much respected by the general public. Ever so many old houses have been tumbled down, and many narrow streets have been done away with to make room for this new edifice, which is situated in a line with, and within a second's walk of that well-known coffee-room, where barristersat-law, attorneys, and solicitors of the courts, and the general public, refresh themselves with broiled chops, soups, and coffee in Terin time.

When you go into this new residence of the Act, and look about you, everything has an agreeable air of freshress and neatness, You will see right before you a very long, flagged hall; and, probably, you will identify, somewhere about the entrance, the small porter in livery, whom the writer hereof met in Henrietta-street, who has been brought down to the new house with the rest of the property. A respectable-looking stone staircase to the right will, no doubt, come under your notice; and if

you are of an observant turn of min:), you will see near the entrance a little clock, and hear it ticking away busily against the wall; and under it a small table, with a modest store of fruit and buns displayed on it, presided over by an clderly female. Traversing the long, flagged hall, you will see a range of offices at either side, in all of which people are busy, and the court of one of the judges, as you may learn from the inscription in black letiers over the door. Indeed, over all the doors of all the offices there is an intimation in black paint as to the particular kind of business wbich is transacted within. Ascending the respectable-looking stone staircase, on which many feet are hurrying up and down, you will see another very long passage like that down stairs, and a range of offices at either side, and two of the judges' courts (all duly lettered as below), very compact and very neat, but rather small, and very bot in sunimer weather.

In either of these three courts the sale-by-publicauction business of this extensive establishment is transacted, much after the same fasbion in which it was car

“ Tue Franciscan monasteries of the west of Irelan, and particularly those of Moyne, Rosserrick and Kilcon. nell,” resumed the Provincial, “ deserve to have a chapter especially devoted to their history; for, indeed, they once ranked among the most famons houses of our order either at home or abroad. I visited each of them in the year 1606, and lost no opportunity of collecting on the spot every incident relating to their foundation and fall. Let us, therefore, save from oblivion a recor} which in times to come will be appreciated by the pions pilgrim and antiquarian, when they visit those hallowed precincts, now, alas ! desecrated and wrested from their rightful owners."

“I have heard,” said Father Purcell, “that the Franciscans had many establishments in the west of Ireland; but I thought none of them could compare with those of Donegal, Multifernan, Timoleague, or Kilerea

“On that bead,” interrupted the Provincial, judgment has deceived you, for the chieftains of Cou naught were most munificent benefactors of our Order, and the churches and monasteries which they erected for us were nowise inferior to those for which we are indebted to the piety of the native princes of the north and south. The Anglo-Norman nobles of the Pale, built many a fair and spacious monastery for the Frarciscans; but assuredly their veneration for our institute could not have been greater than that which the De Burgos, O'Kellys, and Joyces ever evinced for our poor habit and rigid rule. The De Burgos, I admit, entered Ireland as invaders ; but in time they became more Irish than the Irish themselves, mingling their blood with that of the aboriginal magnates, the O'Flaherties, O'Dowds, and other princely families, each and all of whom have undeniable claims to our gratitude. You have not been in Connaught, and I greatly fear that my poor description will not enable you to realiza more than a faint idea of the magnificent monasteriesmagnificent even in their wreck—which the De Burgos and O'Kellys erected and endowed for us in that province, where, till these disastrous times, they lived and reigned with all but kingly state. Take your pen,

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