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mond, with the title of Captain General of his Catholic Majesty. He was provided with decla. rations in the name of the Spanish monarch, im. porting, that for many good reasons he had sent part of his land and sea forces into England and Scotland, to act as auxiliaries to king James. The duke of Ormond sailed from Cadiz, and had proceeded as far as Cape Finisterre, when the fleet was overtaken and dispersed by a storm, which entirely defeated the intended expedition. It is honourable to the loyalty of the Irish, that notwithstanding the tenantry on the Ormond property at this time was the most numerous in Ireland, and that the bulk of the nation was of the same religion as the pretender; notwithstanding Ireland lay more contiguous to Spain than Great Britain, and was less provided for defence against invasion; yet so :ternly loyal were thie people of Ireland to the illustrious family on the throne, that not even the intriguing Alberoni, the Spanish monarch, the catholic preten ler, or his entusiastic and desperate supporter Ormond, dared eren to attempt to seduce then from their allegiance.

Remored as we now fortunately are out of that vortex of bigotry and fanaticism which had the precriar quality of rendering those who moved in it insen ible of their own infection, it is painful for us to look back on times when a ditierence in religious opinions created such jealousies on one hand, and such provocations on the other, whilst there appears to have existed but one common sentiment upon all matters of civil duty and allegiance. And yet, if we abstract from this period of the history of Ireland the detail of these religious differences and their etfects, we shall discover nothing of sufficient interest to attract our attention. It is to be la

mented

mented that existing circumstances should so far have beguiled or misled the government of England to associate and couple together, with too much indiscriminate zeal for the protestant interest, the epithets of catholic and rebel, or Jacobite; since under the specious names of catholic or protestant ascendancy it is not to be doubted that other interests than those of the church or of the crown of England have been placed in combat with other interests than those of the pope or the pretender ;---and that the corrupt purposes of party, while they prevented the people of Ireland from enjoying all the blessings of a British government, procured for that government nothing but perplexity, disappointment, and unpopularity.

It would be foreign to the intention of this work, as well as beyond its limits, to enter even upon a sketch of the different administrations which governed Ireland during the remainder of the reign of George I. or that of his successor. During this period of time no event of sufficient importance to the general reader took place, it we except the landing of the French at Carrickfergus at the latter end of the reign of George II. The court of Versailles has at no time

A. D. been backward in availing itself of opportu

1759. nities to strike at the greatness of the British empire. Among other means which that perfidious, restless, and ambitious court had used for the vain attempt of this mad purpose, the separation of Ireland from the rest of the British dominions has been frequently resorted to. About this time this object formed part of the plan of the French cabinet, as a diversion of the measures of England abroad, in prosecuting a war which had hitherto opened in all parts of the world so unfavourable a

prospect

prospect to the views of French ambition. The grand embarkation designed for Ireland was to be made from Vannes in Lower Britany; and a fleet was fitted out at Brest, commanded by M. de Conflans, to cover the expedition. The execution of this scheme was delayed by sir Edward Hawke, wbo blocked up that harbour with twenty-three ships of the line. But boisterous winds having driven the British fleet off their station in the month of November, Conflans embraced the opportunity, and sailed with twenty-one large ships and four frigates. On the twentieth sir Edward Hawke pursued and came up with the French fleet, and obtained a complete victory over it. The squadron designed for the north of Ireland had sailed from Dunkirk, under the command of Thurot, in Octo. ber; it consisted originally of five ships, and carried one thousand two hundred and seventy land forces. Adverse and tempestuous winds drove the squadron to Gottenburgh. Having continued there a few days, they set sail, and proceeded to the place of destination. When arriving on the coast of Ireland, they were overtaken by a storm, to escape which, they attempted to shelter themselves in Lough Foyle; but the wind changed, and continuing to blow tempestuously, obliged them to keep the sea: two of the ships were separated from the rest by the violence of the storm, and returned to France. The remaining three directed their course to the island of Ilay, where they repaired their damage, took in a small quantity of provi. sion, and, to procure a supply more adequate to their necessities, sailed for Carrickfergus. They arrived here on the 21st of February 1760, and about two miles from the town landed their forces, now reduced to six hundred men. The garrison

of

of Carrickfergus, consisting of a small number, made a most valiant resistance; and though not in any respect prepared for such an attack, numbers of them being qnite undisciplined, and there being a breach in the wall fifty feet long, they defended themselves with spirit until their ammunition was expended. They were now obliged to capitulate : it is supposed that previous to the surrender of the castle one hundred of the French were killed, among whom were officers, one of them of considerable distinction. Of the garrison, not more than three lost their lives. When intelligence of the landing of the enemy reached different parts of the country, volunteer companies flocked to Belfast from all quarters. Intimidated by the valour and loyalty of the Irish, the French retreated, and, having plundered the town, reimbarked on the 26th of February. They were encountered on their return by captain Elliot and a small squadron under his command, who engaged them for about an hour and a half; when they struck to the Briish flag, having three hundred of their men killed, imong whom was their commander Thurot.

This event was the last of any importance to 'reland during the reign of George II., who died »n the 25th of October 1760.

CHAP,

CHAP. XI.

Reign of George III.

MONG the many benevolent and illustrious

acts which posterity will admire when con. templating the eventful reign of the gracious monarch who now fills the imperial throne of the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the amelioration of the state of his Irish subjects will hold a noble and a prominent rank.

At the period of his accession to the crown the aspect of Irish affairs was truly gloomy. Public credit in Ireland had almost fallen prostrate. In the southern province of that kingdom the greatest misery existed among the peasantry, and multitudes of the lowest and most wretched of that class were in a state of insurrection. The ipsurgents at first committed their outrages at night and appearing generally in shirts or frocks were denominated white-toys. These insurrection became alarming to government; and they instituted a commission of some gentlemen of dstinguished loyalty and eminence in the law t inquire upon the spot into the real causes and circumstances of these riots; who reported th! the authors of them consisted of persons different persuasions, and that no marks of diaffection to his majesty's person or govemmer appeared in any of these people, whose disconter: and outrageous conduct too evidently originated : their distress, arising from a combination of cause. a principal one being the great scarcity and dez:

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