they had demolished the steeple of St. Mary's Church, and had made two breaches in the wall: the latter was about twenty feet high and from four to six feet thick. Meanwhile the enemy were not idle. They raised a triple line of entrenchments from St. Mary's Church to Duleek Gate, and from the east end of this church to the town hall. The guns from the two batteries beat

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down the corner tower and enlarged the breaches. On the 11th of September Ormonde wrote to Prince Rupert :

Within the above (i.e. Drogheda) 2000 effective foot and about 300 horse reasonably well provided considering the short time I had to furnish

"Perfect Occurrences, E. 533, p. 15; The Kingdom's Faithful and Impartial Scout, E. 533, p. 16.

it, and if I can keep but one side of the river as open as it is, it is possible he may miss that town and weaken his army before it.

The postscript, in view of Mr. Williams's contention that the town did not fall on the 11th, deserves attention: 'Cromwell shot above 200 shot of cannon at Drogheda, and I believe has by this time stormed the breach.' 19

All the early letters of the Viceroy have been optimistic, and is it unfair to say that by his pessimistic postscript he was breaking the bad news gently to Prince Rupert? This is confirmed by the fact that on the 12th of September Ormonde wrote to Owen Roe O'Neill of what had happened after the taking of Drogheda.' 20 In a letter dated the 15th of September the 11th is the day given for the storming."1

At five in the afternoon of the 11th Cromwell ordered the storming of the town. The Irish always fight well behind a wall; the siege of Derry and the two sieges of Limerick in after days demonstrate this, and the present siege afforded a demonstration. After some hot dispute we entered, about seven or eight thousand men, the enemy disputing it very stiffly with us.' The garrison stoutly repulsed the regiments of Ewer, Hewson, and Castle, which were obliged to retreat. Then Cromwell went to the breach with a fresh reserve of Colonel Ewer's men, and the day was won.22 The breach and the triple line of entrenchments were gained after a stubborn fight. The town, however, had not fallen, for the brave Irish soldiers occupied the Millmount 'exceedingly high and strongly palisadoed.'


Perhaps, as Gardiner conjectures, the prospect of the renewed struggle enraged Cromwell, for at the foot of the Millmount he ordered that all should be put to the sword. He had warned the garrison of their fate if they resisted: he had replaced his white flag by a red one. The laws of war then and long afterwards authorised him to refuse quarter when a garrison tried to defend an indefensible post. In this connexion we quote the letter written by the Duke of Wellington to Canning on the 3rd of February 1820:

I believe it has always been understood that the defenders of a fortress stormed have no claim to quarter; and the practice which prevailed during the last century of surrendering a fortress when a breach was opened in the body of the place, and the counterscarp had been blown in, was founded on this understanding. Of late years the French have availed themselves of the humanity of modern warfare, and have made a new regulation that a breach should stand one assault at least. The consequence of this regulation was to me the loss of the flower of the army in the assaults of Ciudad Rodrigo and of Badajoz. I certainly should have thought myself

19 Carte Papers, xxv. p. 323 (Record Office, Dublin). 20 Ibid. p. 329A.

1 Cromwelliana, p. 64.

22 Gilbert, Contemporary History of Affairs in Ireland, vol. ii. p. 271. 23 Cf. Perfect Diurnal, E. 553, p. 17.

justified in putting both garrisons to the sword; and if I had done so to the first, it is probable I should have saved 5000 men in the assault of the second. I mention this in order to show you that the practice of refusing quarter to a garrison which stands an assault is not a useless effusion of blood.24

This was the attitude of the Protector after the obstacle presented by the resistance at the Millmount. In its defenders he beheld the men who had taken part in the massacres of 1641. Despite the biblical command vengeance was his and he took it. All who were in arms in the town' were put to the sword. Aston with his gallant officers and men were ruthlessly cut down. 25 The rest of the garrison fled across the narrow bridge, with the Ironsides hot in pursuit. They hurried up Ship Street and St. Peter's Street to St. Peter's Church and the towers beside it. 'Divers of the officers and soldiers,' reads the despatch, 'being fled over the bridge into the other part of the town, where about a hundred of them possessed St. Peter's church-steeple, some the west gate, others a strong round tower next the gate called St. Sunday's. These being summoned to yield to mercy, refused, whereupon I ordered the steeple of the St. Peter's Church to be fired, when one of them was heard to say in the midst of the flames, "God damn me, God confound me, I burn, I burn. Beside this passage we may place an extract from 'A Brief Relation of that Bloody Storm at Drogheda, in Ireland, and the Doctor's (i.e. Dean Bernard) Sufferings by Oliver Cromwell in it, and after it, with his Preservation.' It runs as follows:


Not long after came Colonel Hewson, and told the Doctor he had orders to blow up the steeple (which stood between the choir and the body of the church), where about threescore men were run up for refuge, but the three barrels of powder which he caused to be put under it for that end blew up only the body of the church, and the next night Hewson caused the seats of the church to be broken up, and made a great pile of them under the steeple, which firing, it took the lofts wherein five great bells hung, and from thence it flamed up to the top, and so at once men and bells and roof came all down together, the most hideous sight and terrible cry 27 that ever he was witness of at once.

Perfect Occurrences informs us that they refusing to come down, the steeple was fired, and then fifty of them got out at the top of the church, but the enraged soldiers put them all to the sword, and thirty of them were burnt in the fire, some of them cursing and crying out "God damn them!" and cursed their souls as they were burning.' 28 Colonel Hewson hears

24 Despatches, Correspondence, and Memoranda of Arthur, Duke of Wellington, vol. i. p. 93.

25 Ludlow, Memoirs, vol. i. p. 261.

26 Professor Firth was good enough to give me a copy of Dean Bernard's tract. 21 Gardiner omits the word 'cry,' but it is in Dr. Firth's copy.

2 E. 533, p. 15.

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a cry, Perfect Occurrences and Cromwell's despatch give details of it, yet Mr. Williams asks us to disbelieve in the cry. They are all independent witnesses, and they agree. We are informed that Cromwell, who certainly shared Hewson's antipathies, watered down this statement into "One of them was heard to say 'God damn me,' &c." Now two men may share antipathies-which means that both were Puritans— and still be able to testify correctly to what they hear. But Mr. Williams has another way of getting rid of the cry. A number of the men were presumably Irish, and therefore not speaking English.' It is true the majority of the men were Irish, but some of the Irish could speak English. Moreover, Ormonde's regiment had some English soldiers, and Colonel Byrne's had many such soldiers; there were therefore English-speaking men in the garrison. Our plan indicates towers near St. Peter's Church, and in these some fugitives had concealed themselves. The Kingdom's Faithful and Impartial Scout for the 5th of October says that some fled to the towers of the wall and others to the church, where they were all killed and taken. The Commanders were rich in money and apparel, there was in all about 3000 slain and what was found became free booty.' Walker's Perfect Occurrences for the same day contains a letter from John Hewson; it states that those in the towers, being about 200, did yield to the General's mercy, where most of them have their lives and be sent to the Barbadoes.' 29 'In this slaughter there was, by my observation, at least 3000 dead bodies lay in the fort. and streets, whereof there could not be 150 of them of our army, for I lost more than any other regiment, and there was not sixty killed outright of my men.' According to Mr. Williams the bulk of the garrison was killed in the fort and streets, not in the church. But Gardiner never said they were killed in the church. His exact words are A thousand were slain in or around St. Peter's Church at the top of the hill.' Let any unprejudiced reader study the plan, and he will see that St. Sunday Steeple is a hundred yards from St. Peter's Church, Tooting Tower is one hundred and fifty, and Pigeon. Tower is only a hundred. These are around St. Peter's Church, and we therefore maintain that the evidence completely supports Gardiner's statement. It is to be noted that it is a statement in the sense that it sums up all the evidence that precedes it.


29 There is no evidence that they were sold as slaves, though their lot as servants was severe. There was no exportation of Irish slaves to Barbados. Some Irish were transported there, partly as reprieved individuals, partly under the pretext of vagabondage.

* In an undated letter to the King, Ormonde reports: 'It is said that forty-five of their officers were killed and above 1000 common soldiers, some say more.' Mr. Williams does not discredit Ormonde on account of this inaccuracy.

Cromwell and Hewson, who were present, say that the steeple of St. Peter's Church was burnt on Tuesday night, the 11th, and that the towers were taken on the 12th. Mr. Williams contradicts them, and adduces a letter of Lord Inchiquin, stating that the towers were defended till the 15th of September. When we ask on what grounds he denies the accuracy of two eyewitnesses we are given the authority of Lord Inchiquin, who was not in Drogheda when the events took place. The peer was in Castle Jordan, in King's County, some fifty miles from the captured town. We certainly prefer the testimony of two eyewitnesses to that of one who was not present.

The use Mr. Williams makes of his authorities puzzles us exceedingly. Indeed, we are strongly of opinion that he has no idea of the value of evidence, and that he believes anything he sees in print which suits the case he presents. He refers to Ormonde's letter to Inchiquin on the 20th of September, wherein occur the oft-quoted words 'The cruelty exercised there for five days after the town was taken would make as many several pictures of inhumanity as are to be found in the book of martyrs or in the relation of Amboyna.' To understand the historical value of this letter it is necessary to quote more of it.

Thus, my Lord [it runs], you have a confused relation such as my memory and time will give me leave to make of the successes God for our sins hath permitted the rebels to gain over us.

In the last lines of the letter this confused relation becomes apparent, for he reduces the slaughter from the five days he had allotted to it:

and of those that were killed, the better half were butchered an hour after quarter given them, and some after they were brought within the walls of the town.

From five days we come to a period of an hour. Another curious example of the method Mr. Williams employs in dealing with evidence occurs in the case of the letter of Thomas Wood:

He told them [he writes] that 3000 at least, besides women and children, were, after the assailants had taken part and afterwards all the town, put to the sword on September 11 31 and 12, 1649. . . that when they were to make ther way up to the lofts and galleries in the church and up to the tower where the enemy had fled, each of the assailants would take up a child and use (it) as a buckler of defence when they ascended the steps, to keep themselves from being shot or brained. After they had killed all in the church, they went into the vaults underneath, where all the flower and choicest of the women and ladies had hid themselves. One of these, a most handsome virgin, kneeled down to Thomas Wood with tears and prayers to save her life; and, being stricken with a profound pity, took her under his arm, went with her out of the church, with intentions to

"It is worth noticing that Wood gives the 11th as the date of the fall of the town; we do not, however, place any trust in his word.

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