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all species of sectarian bigotry. Such of our memoir stood conspicuous. a man, at a time of national agitation, His character, his fortune, and his was likely to attract, and be attract- undoubted courage, placed him above ed; and, accordingly, we find him, suspicion; and, whatever might soon after the formation of the volun- have been ascribed to enthusiasm, teers, - a decided favourite with the nothing could possibly be attributed people.
to unworthy motives. In 1792, we If Catholicity, as we are told, be find Mr. Rowan a member of the club favourable to despotism, how comes of United Irishmen-a society which it that in Ireland -a land where des- then sought only a reform of parliapotism had grown plethoric~it has ment. uniformly produced a spirit of resist. 'I must do the society,' says the ance to bad laws and arbitrary power? unfortunate Theobald Wolfe Tone, Protestantism had there, at least, the justice to say, that I believe preached the doctrine of passive obe- there never existed a political body dience ; and, what's more, practised which included for its members a what it taught. The nation slept be greater portion of sincere uncorruptneath an iron code, imposed by fo. ed patriotism, as well as a very res. reign domination, until the Catholic pectablé portion of talents. Their helots of the soil aroused her from her publications, mostly written by Dr. prostrate attitude, by the clanking of Drennan, and many of them admitheir chains. To their early efforts, rably well done, began to draw the and not, as has been generally public attention, especially as they supposed, to the volunteers, we are were evidently the production of a indebted for the growth of those libe- society utterly disclaiming all party ral principles which, during the lat- views or motives, and acting on a ter part of the last century, sprung broad original scale, not sparing up in such luxuriance throughout those who called themselves patriots Ireland. O'Connor and Curry had more than those who were the havindicated Catholicity long before the bitual slaves of the governmentAmerican Revolt or the French Rè- a system in which I heartily concurvolution; and, though much must be red, having long entertained a more ascribed to these great events, let it sincere contempt for what is called never be forgotten that the principles the Opposition, than for the common of freedom had been previously pro- prostitutes of the treasury benchi, mulgated in Catholic statements of who want, at least, the vice of hypo. grievances, remonstrances, and peti- crisy. At length the Solicitor-genetions. These were the instruments ral, in speaking of the Society, havwhich first conveyed liberal opinions ing made use of expressions in the into Ireland. The bigots became House of Coinmons extremely offenalarmed; but more enlightened Pro- sive, an explanation was demanded of testants started, on discovering that him by Simon Butler, chairinan, and they had for a century been acces- Tandy, secretary. Butler was satissary to injustice and tyranny. This fied : Tandy was not; and after semust have been the case. How else veral inessages, which it is not my can we account for the sudden ap- affair to detail, the Solicitor-general pearance of liberality in a kingdom at length complained to the House of then groaning under the penal laws ? a breach of privilege, and Tandy was In less than ten years after the Ca- ordered in the first instance into custholics had made their first appeal, tody. He was, in consequence, artheir cause became almost universally rested by a messenger, from whom popular. The volunteers were nearly he found means to escape ; and imunanimous in reprobation of the mediately a proclamation was issued, Popery Laws; and all those who offering a reward for retaking him. contemplated a national independ. The Society now was in a difficult ence commenced their career by ad- situation, and I thought myself called vocating Emancipation.
upon to make an effort, at all hazards Among those who proved them- to myself, to prevent its falling, by selves at this period sincerely attached improper timidity, in the public opito the cause of Ireland, the subject nion. We were, in fact, committed
· with the House of Commons on the and oblige him either to recant his question of privilege; and, having words or give battle. All our defairly engaged in the contest, it was terminations, however, camne to noimpossible to recede without a total thing. The House of Commons, forfeiture of character. Under these either content with their victory over circumstances, I cast my eyes on Tandy, who was obliged to conceal Archibald Hamilton Rowan, a distin- himself for some time, or not think- : guished member of the Society, ing Rowan and myself objects suffiwhose many virtues, public and pri. ciently important to attract their novate, had set his name above the tice; or, perhaps, (which I rather reach of even the malevolence of par- believe,) not wishing just then to emty; whose situation in life was of the broil themselves with a man of Rowmost respectable rank (if rank be an's firmness and courage, not to indeed respectable); and, above all, speak of his great and justly merited whose personal courage was not to popularity, took no notice whatsobe shaken-a circumstance, in the ever of our resolutions ; and in this actual situation of affairs, of the last manner he and I had the good forimportance. To Rowan, therefore, tune, or, if I may say, the merit, to I applied. I showed him that the rescue the Society from a situation current of public opinion was rather of considerable difficulty, without any setting against us in the business, and actual suffering, though certainly that it was necessary that some of with some personal hazard, on our us should step forward and expose parts. We had, likewise, the satisthemselves at all risks, to show the faction to see the Society, instead of House of Commons, and the nation losing ground, rise rapidly in the pubat large, that we were not to be in- lic opinion by their firmness on the timidated or put down so easily ; and occasion. Shortly after, on the last I offered, if he would take the chair, day of the session, Tandy appeared that I would, with the Society's per- in public, and was taken into customission, act as secretary, and that we dy, the whole Society attending in a would give our signatures to such body to the House of Commons. publications as circumstances might He was ordered by the Speaker to be render nécessary. Rowan instantly committed to Newgate, whither he agreed ; and accordingly, on the next was conveyed, the Society attending night of meeting, he was chosen him as before ; and the Parliament chairman and I secretary in the ab- being prorogued in half an hour afsence of Tandy; and the Society ter, he was liberated immediately, having agreed to the resolutions pro- and escorted in triumph to his own posed, which were worded in a man- house. On this occasion Rowan and ner very offensive to the dignity of I attended, of course, and were in the the House of Commons, and, in gallery of the House of Commons. fact, amounted to a challenge of their As we were not sure but we might be authority, we inserted them in all attacked ourselves, we took pains to the newspapers, and printed 5,000 place ourselves in a conspicuous sicopies with our names affixed. The tuation, and to wear our Whig-club least that Rowan and I expected in uniforms, which were rather gaudy, consequence of this step, (which un- in order to signify to all whom it der the circumstances was, I must might concern, that there we were. say, rather a bold one,) was to be A good many of the members, we ob. committed to Newgate for a breach served, remarked us, but no farther of privilege; and, perhaps, exposed notice was taken; our names were to personal discussion with some of never mentioned; the whole busithe members of the House of Com- ness passed over quietly, and I remons; for he proposed, and I agreed, signed my pro-secretaryship, being that if any disrespectful language the only office I ever held in the Sowas applied to either of us in any ciety, into the hands of Tandy, who debate which might arise on the bu- resumed his functions.' ! siness, we would attack the person, On Tandy's quitting Ireland, Mr. whoever he might be, immediately, Rowan became secretary to the so
ciety; and, having affixed his name the window into the back yard, and to various addresses, he had an er- in the stable found a horse ready officio filed against him for a libel. saddled. Disguising himself in a peaHis trial came on in the Court of sant's great coat he proceeded to the King's Bench, Dublin, on the 29th residence of his attorney, Mr. Dowof January, 1794, before the Judges ling, who was in the secret of his deClonmell, Boyd, and Downs. The sign; unfortunately, that gentleman's result is well known* ; Mr. Rowan house was filled with guests, and by was sentenced to two years' imprison- his advice Mr. Rowan proceeded to ment, and fined 5001. While in New- the top of Sackville-street, opposite gate a government spy found his way the Rotunda, where he continued to into his presence; and, having in. walk up and down, in the most sinuated himself into his confidence, anxious state of suspense, for an hour of course betrayed him. On the and a half. At length his friend ap28th of April he discovered the ex- peared, and after a short conference tent of his danger; and instantly Mr. Rowan proceeded to the house decided on evading it. Three days of Mr. Sweetman, near Baldoyle, afterwards, he had the address to pre- where he continued for a few days. vail on the gaoler to accompany him, Desirous of being further from dánat night, to his house; and, under pre- ger, he embarked in the pleasure-boat tence of having a few words to say of his friend ; and, after having been in private to Mrs. Rowan, he obtain- obliged to put back the next day to ed permission to retire into the back Howtht, he at length succeeded in drawing-room. At the gaoler's re- reaching the coast of France; a thick quest the folding-door was left open, foy having enabled him to pass unand Mr. Rowan lost no time in avail. observed through the British Channel ing himself of the advantage so op- fleet. portunely afforded. His excellent Mr. Rowan for some time took up lady had contrived the means of es- his abode in Paris ; but, in one of the cape : by a rope he descended from political convulsions which were then
* Curran was Mr. Rowan's counsel ; his speech on this occasion is supposed to have surpassed his former efforts. The following passage is certainly without a parallel in either ancient or modern oratory :
“Do you think it wise or humane, at this moment, to insult them (the Catholics) by sticking up in the pillory the man who dared to stand forth as their advocate? I put it to your oaths; do you think that a blessing of that kind, that a victory obtain. ed by justice over bigotry and uppression, should have a stigma cast upon it by an ignominious sentence upon men bold and honest enough to propose that measure?-to propose'the redeeming of religion from the abuses of the church, the reclaiming of three millions of men from bondage, and giving liberty to all who had a right to demand it?-Giving, I say, in the so-much censured words of this paper-giving · Universal Emancipation?'
" I speak in the spirit of the British law, which makes liberty commensurate with, and inseparable from, British soil; which proclaims even to the stranger and the sojourner, the moment he sets his foot upon British earth, that the ground on which he treads is holy, and consecrated by the genius of universal emancipation. No matter in what language his doom may have been pronounced-110 matter what complexion, incompatible with freedom, an Indian or an African sun inay have burnt upon himno matter in what disastrous battle bis liberty may have been cloven down-no matter with what solemnities he may have been devoted upon the altar of slavery-the first moment he touches the sacred soil of Britain, the altar and the god sink together in the dust ; his soul walks abroad in her own majesty ; his body swells beyond the nieasure of his chains that burst from around him; and he stands redeemed, regenerated, and disenthralled, by the irresistible genius of Universal Emancipation.”
+ Mr. Sheil has related the following anecdote :- They put to sea at night; but, a gale of wind coming on, they were compelled to put back, and take shelter under the lee of the Hill of Howth. While at anchor there, on the following morning, a small revenue-cruiser, sailing by, threw into the boat copies of the proclamations that had issued, offering 2,0001. for the apprehension of Hamilton Rowan, The weather having moderated, the boat pushed out to sea again. They had reached the mid-channel, when a situation occurred almost equalling in dramatic interest the celebrated "Cæsarem vehis” of antiquity. It would certainly make a fine subject for a picture. rapidly taking place, he was obliged your mother's prudent conduct durto fly. At this time he escaped by ing my absence, not only enabled rowing himself down the Seine, in a her to pay the fine of 5001. which had wherry, and answered the challenges been laid on me, but also facilitated of the military placed on each side my return to Ireland. with so much address, that he was al- 'I am convinced that no modificalowed to pass unmolested. From tion of my civil existence would France he went to America, and re- have taken place, if Lord Castlereagh sided on the banks of the Delaware. had opposed it. But I am bound in By the advice of some friends, in the gratitude to the memory of Lord hope of lesseniug the anxieties of ex- Clare to say, that I am equally cerile, he was induced to embark in a tain that my family retained my procotton concern; but,knowing nothing perty, after my outlawry; and that of commerce, he soon abandoned all I owe my pardon, after his decease, manufacturing pursuits. At length, to his previous interference in niy political convulsions having subsided behalf. in Ireland, Mr. Rowan, after an ab- However, although he did not afsence of several years, was restored ford me any previous assistance, Lord by an act of royal clemency to his Castlereagh was very attentive to my home, where he has since lived sur different applications to him during rounded by domestic love. The two years nearly that I remained in Amor Patrice, however, is not yet London, while the scruples of the dead within him; when the late Ca- Lord Chancellor delayed the ratificatholic Association erected an altar to tion of my pardon. Liberty, Hamilton Rowan approached In that interval he offered to place it with his offering, and, though his one of my sons in the College of character was assailed for doing so, Marlow, and give him a commission like gold in the furnace, it has shone in the East India Company's service. brighter and purer from the ordeal it These were attentions, which, though has recently gone through.
not accepted, ought not to be forgot• It is not now,' says the subject of ten." our memoir, in a letter addressed to Mr. Hamilton Rowan is now in his his children, 'my intention to vin- seventy-fifth year. Age has not yet dicate the express act which caused impaired any of his faculties; and his my then exiled situation. I was sen- noble countenance indicates what he sible that I had been concerned in a has been-a man of a truly energetic transaction, for which the law of my mind, firm and decided. Lavater, country would have separated me would have doated on his portrait ; from the world ; and though I found a for it is a correct index of an open, strong self-justification in my being sincere, and manly, disposition. conscious, that if I had erred, it had The accompanying engraving is a been in concert with some of the most correct likeness. most virtuous and patriotic charac- If Mr. Hamilton Rowan's political ters in Ireland ; yet I felt a degree life has been without reproach, his of gratitude to the existing powers of private life defies calumny. His the country from which I had fled, manners are of the most amiable and for the protection which my family fascinating kind ; and the best proof experienced, after my escape from that can be adduced of the respect prison.
in which he is held by all classes is As to the er-officio prosecution un- to be found in the burst of indignader which I had been previously sen- tion which followed the attack tenced to two years' imprisonment in lately made on him by some memNewgate, the being in custody al. bers of the House of Commons. ready eventually saved my life ; and As the boat careered along before a favourable wind, the exiled Irishman perceived the boatwen grouped apart, perusing one of the proclamations, and, by their significant looks and gestures, discovering that they had recognised the identity of their passenger with the printed description, “ Your conjectures are right, my lads,” said Rowan ;-“my life is in your hands--but you are Irishmen.” They ilung the proclamation overboard, and the boat continued her course.'
RORY O'ROURKE, ESQ. TO DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ. ON THE PRESENT ASPECT OF CA different information. They must, THOLIC AFFAIRS.
therefore, undergo another reformaMY DEAR SIR, I am sorry to find tion before sincere Catholics can perthat you have not followed the advice mit their clergy to receive annual I so kindly gave you, when I last bribes from their hands. dined with you in Dublin. In spite You know my manner of speaking of my remonstrance-of my entreaty iny mind freely; and, therefore, will -you have once more taken flight on excuse this open disapproval of part. the wings. Not satisfied with vin- of your conduct. You can do this the dicating your own motives and con- more readily, because you do me great duct, you became an advocate of two injustice if you suppose that, on the abominable measures, long since con- earth, you have a more sincere friend demned by the unanimous voice of than Rory O'Rourke. I am, also, the Irish people. You might have your admirer. Many things about you collected this from various and cau. I am far-very far--from liking; but tious resolutions passed at county still there is a something in Daniel meetings; and you ought to have in- O'Connell which an Irishman, in spite ferred that your popularity was sus- of himself, must love. Our poor coun-pected, from the votes of confidence try and her cause are your debtors; which have been passed. In your and never more so than at the preletter to the Catholics of Louth, I sent moment. Assailed on all sides traced the lawyer through every sen- by dubious friends and open enemies, tence. You were supporting a cause you have disdained to flinch from which your conscience condemned; your station. Attacked by Cobbctt and hence the disingenuity which and Lawless, you stand forward the peeps through your artful web of so- friend of the six MILLIONS ; and will, phistry. Neither your premises nor I have no doubt, continue firm until your conclusions were logical; and, their just claims are granted. This on examining parliamentary docu- deserves something more than mere ments, I find that most of your facts praise-it merits gratitude ; and I, for are erroneous. But it is idle to talk one, own inyself your debtor. now of these wings. Every man- 'Tis true you are not the most prosave aristocratic mercenaries--is con- found of philosophers. On many vinced that they were fraught with points you may, with advantage, acmischief. Dr. England's admirable quire additional knowledge; and, letters have settled the question re- perhaps, on the whole, you might be specting the forty shilling freehold- more useful if you had been better ers; and your own motion in the As, informed. But at present you are desociation, relative to the suffering cidedly the fittest man in the world Catholics in the Netherlands, is a to support the cause of Ireland. Inpretty good comment on the plan for deed you seem to have been provipensioning our venerable clergy. On dentially sent into the world at a time this question you have stated some when such talents as yours were pequeer things, under the solemn obli- culiarly wanted. Of modesty you gation of an oath ; but, as it was un- have quite enough; had you more, you doubtedly a rash one, I hereby ab- never could withstand the artillery of solve you from the consequences. a base press; had you less, it is agreed Should any thing in future occur re- 'on all hands that you would be inspecting the golden wing, pray keep sufferable. As it is, a happy medium the Catholics of the Netherlands in is embraced; and you look like one recollection. Like us, they are the of those beautiful statues, where the subjects of a Protestant government; drapery, without concealing the beauand, though John Black, and other in- ties, hides what should never be retellectual newspaper editors, tell us vealed. woriderful things about the toleration We have heard much respecting the of reformed creeds, the history of qualification of many of our countryEurope, unfortunately, contains very men for leading in popular assem