been blown down in the previous century), Hewson piled up the benches underneath it and fired them. The use of powder in the first instance renders it evident that Hewson must have had some very powerful reason for wishing to destroy the church as well as the steeple. What this was he did not say.

The second fact, concealed by both Cromwell and Hewson, is that the two towers on the wall were blown up by gunpowder on the morning of Friday the 14th of September.

Lord Inchiquin, to whom the survivors of the massacre fled, wrote to the Marquess of Ormonde from Castle Jordan on Saturday, the 15th of September 1649, as follows: "

Many men and some officers have made their escapes out of Drogheda among which Garrett Dungan is one and is now at Tecraghan. Some of every regiment are come unto me. All conclude that no man [had] quarter with Cromwell's leave, that yet many were privately saved by officers and soldiers, that the Governor was killed in the Mill Mount after quarter given by the officer that first came there, that some of the towers were defended until yesterday, quarter being denied them, and that yesterday morning the towers wherein they were were blown up. That Varney, Finglass, Warren and some other officers were alive in the hands of some of Cromwell's officers 24 hours after the business was done but whether their lives were obtained at Cromwell's hands or that they are yet living they cannot tell.

As Hewson is thus proved to be unreliable in such material points, we are at liberty to say that his assertion that a number of men (presumably Irish and therefore not speaking English) invoked the curse of Heaven upon their souls as they were burning bears the stamp of falsehood on the face of it. We are the more at liberty to do this because Cromwell, who certainly shared Hewson's antipathies, watered down this statement into One of them was heard to say "God damn me," etc.'

Lord Inchiquin thus being definitely in conflict with Cromwell on the question of dates, it is important to prove that Cromwell's army was in Drogheda on the 14th and 15th. Hewson himself furnishes the needful evidence by saying at the end of his letter, 'Our army marched back to Dublin on Tuesday night.' He could not have meant the 11th, and must have meant the 18th of September, as his letter was dated the 22nd of September.

Cromwell, therefore, was five days at least in the town.

After this Samuel Peckes' Perfect Diurnall appeared on Monday, the 8th of October. Though Cromwell asserted that he gave orders for the garrison to be killed, 'being in the heat of action,' an anonymous letter-writer in this periodical states that before the town was stormed, we sent over the water to the other (North) side of the town to hinder relief from coming to • Printed in the preface, page xxvii., to vol. ii. of Sir J. T. Gilbert's Contemporary History of Ireland.

them and to prevent their running away, 2000 horse and foot.' The letter then goes on to contribute an account of the surrender of the Mill Mount not at all in accordance with the other versions :

The mount was very strong of itself and manned with 250 of their principal men, Sir Arthur Aston being in it, who was Governor of the town; which, when they saw their men retreat, were so cast down and disheartened that they thought it vain to make any further resistance, which, if they had, they could have killed some hundreds of our men before they could have taken it. Lieutenant-Colonel Axtell of Colonel Huson's regiment, with some twelve of his men, went up to the top of the mount and demanded of the Governor the surrender of it, who was very stubborn, speaking very bigge words, but at length was persuaded to go into the windmill on the top of the mount, and as many more of the chiefest of them as it would contain, where they were all disarmed and afterwards all slain.

To what can the 'persuasion,' mentioned here, possibly refer but to the offer of quarter? As ever, when traitorous and cruel deeds were to be done, Hewson's men were employed.

Last of all the newsbooks licensed by Hatter comes Perfect Occurrences once more, published on the 12th of October, and containing a letter signed 'R. L.' The stress laid in the letter upon the part played by the horse in riding down the fleeing garrison proves that its writer was one of Cromwell's horse.

Colonel Cassell's regiment led on the forlorn hope, himself slain, our men beaten a little back, but the Lord General (Cromwell) led them up again with courage and resolution, though they met with hot dispute.

When we were entered into that part of the towne where the breach was made, our men came on to a great mill hill mount, wherein they had a hundred men, put them all to the sword; here our horse and foot followed them so fast over the bridge which goes over a broad river, it being very long and houses on both sides, yet they had not time to pull up the drawbridge. There our men fell violently in upon them, and I believe there was above two thousand put to the sword. We had about twenty or thirty men slain and some forty wounded. Their Governor was killed in the first onset.

From this account it is abundantly clear that the main body of the garrison did not rush over the bridge and take refuge in St. Peter's Church on the north side of the bridge, at the opposite extremity of the town, but were cut off by Cromwell's horse.

As regards the question of the offer of quarter, Lord Ormonde wrote that Cromwell was

twice beaten off, the third time he carried it, all his officers and soldiers promising quarter to such as would lay down their arms and performing it as long as any place held out, which encouraged others to yield. But when they once had all in their power, and feared no hurt that could be done them, then the word 'no quarter' went round, and the soldiers were many of them forced against their will to kill their prisoners.

Again Sir Lewis Dyve, in his Irish History from September 1648 to June 1650 10 writes (p. 24) that Sir Arthur Aston

doubted not of finding Cromwell play awhile (until Ormonde could come to his relief), as certainly he had done had not Colonel Wall's regiment, after the enemy had been twice bravely repulsed, upon the unfortunate loss of their colonel in the third assault, been so unhappily dissuaded as to listen before they had need unto the enemy offering them quarter, and admitted them in upon these terms, thereby betraying both themselves and all their fellow soldiers to the slaughter; for Cromwell being master of the town, and told by Jones that he had now in his hand the flower of the Irish Army, gave order to have all that were in arms put to the sword.

The term 'Drogheda quarter' became proverbial in Ireland.

But Lord Ormonde's and Sir Lewis Dyve's letters are not the only evidence against Cromwell. Modern research has brought to light the letter which James Buck wrote from Caen on the 18th of November 1649, to tell Sir Ralph Verney, of Claydon, Buckinghamshire, the story of his brother's death." It runs :

Your brother and my dear friend Sir Edmond Verney-who behaved himself with the greatest gallantry that could be he was slain at Drogheda · three days after quarter was given him as he was walking with Cromwell by way of protection. One Ropier, who is brother to Lord Ropier, called him aside in a pretence to speak with him, being formerly of acquaintance, and instead of some friendly office which Sir Edmond might expect from him, he barbarously ran him through with a tuck; but I am confident to see this act once highly revenged. The next day after, one LieutenantColonel Boyle, who had quarter likewise given him, as he was at dinner with my Lady More, sister to the Earl of Sunderland, in the same town, one of Cromwell's soldiers came and whispered him in the ear to tell him that he must presently be put to death, who, rising from the table, the lady asked whither he was going. He answered, Madam, to die,' who no sooner stepped out of the room but was he shot to death. These are cruelties of those traitors who, no doubt, will find the like mercy when they stand in need of it.

This terrible letter has never been transcribed by any historian. S. R. Gardiner, faced by the necessity of either corroborating or disputing Cromwell's two days, took the bold course of describing the murders of Verney and Boyle in the following words:

For that which appears now to have been the blackest part of his (Cromwell's) conduct, the killing of Verney and his companions twenty-four hours after the general massacre was ended, Cromwell made no excuse.

10 A letter from Sir Lewis Dyve to the Lord Marquis of Newcastle (the 17th of November 1650), Hague, printed by Samuel Brown, English bookseller. This is Thomason Tract E. 616 (71).

" Printed in 1892 in Lady Verney's Memorials of the Verney Family during the Civil War, vol. ii. The Historical Manuscripts Commission first drew attention to this letter in its seventh report, printed in 1879. I have modernised the spelling.

After this untrue rendering it is not surprising that the letter should have passed unnoticed by other writers. The corroboration that this letter and that of Lord Inchiquin give to Lord Ormonde's oft-quoted assertion that for five days Cromwell perpetrated cruelties at Drogheda rivalled only by the Book of Martyrs, and that he exceeded himself and everything he had ever heard of in breach of faith and bloody inhumanity' will be obvious to all.12

Lastly, what of the 1000 killed in St. Peter's Church?

Cromwell is the principal authority about St. Peter's Church. No writer whatever asserts that this 1000 formed part of the garrison; certainly not Cromwell, for he described Aston and his men by such terms as soldiers use in speaking of other soldiers; namely 'the enemy,' 'officers and soldiers,' 'men,' etc.; never by any chance does he use an unmilitary terminology. Cromwell only uses the word 'people' when he describes the fate of those in St. Peter's Church. The statement occurs near the end of the despatch, in a passage which, before reading, it is necessary to recall the seventeenth century frame of mind towards Papists' and particularly towards the Mass-the central rite of the Catholic religion. To stamp out the Mass was the avowed aim of English Protestants of all kinds; to tolerate it a deadly sin, and any measures, no matter how horrible they may seem to modern Protestants, were in those days considered very slight matters indeed.

And now give me leave to say how it comes to pass that this work is wrought. It was set upon some of our hearts that a great thing should be done, not by power or might, but by the spirit of God, and is it not clear that that which caused your men to storm so courageously was the spirit of God? . . . And, therefore, it is good that God alone have all the glory. It is remarkable that these people at the first set up the Mass in some places of the town that had been monasteries, but had afterwards grown so insolent that the last Lord's day before the storm the Protestants were thrust out of the great church called St. Peter's, and they had publique Mass there; and in this very place near one thousand of them were put to the sword, flying thither for safety.

St. Peter's was not the garrison church, nor would the soldiers have been able to hear Mass in a body while the enemy were outside the walls. Mass had been said for the townsfolk, those who had turned the Protestants out of the town.

" Antonius Bruodinus (an Irish Franciscan) wrote in his Propugnaculum Catholicae Veritatis, published at Prague in 1669, as follows (p. 678) : 'Quinque diebus continuis haec laniena (qua, nullo habito locorum, sexus, religionis aut aetatis discrimine, juvenes et virgines lactantes aeque ac senio confecti barbarorum gladiis ubique trucidati sunt) duravit. Quatuor milia Catholicorum virorum (ut de infinita multitudine religiosorum, feminarum, puerorum, puellarum et infantium nihil dicam) in civitate gladius impiorum rebellium illa expugnatione devoravit.'

St. Peter's Church having been used for Catholic worship, was full of refugees, including women and children. None were spared. All contemporary writers agree in this, the Royalist Mercurius Elencticus saying that neither women nor children' were spared. Ormonde infers it, Clarendon and Bate assert the fact. John Crouch, in his Mix't Poem (1660), has some verses about it, and Thomas à Wood's account is too well known, and, indeed, too horrible to quote. The blood of those butchered in the church streamed into the adjoining road in such a torrent that for generations it retained the name of 'Bloody Street.'

The direct cause of Cromwell's butchery was the lack of money on the part of the ruling oligarchy at home. The people of England loathed the yoke of the clique styling itself 'Parliament.' One defeat, and the pseudo-Commonwealth would have been in danger. The Council of State' wrote to Cromwell on the 18th of September:

Every effort must be made to make Ireland bear this charge, which is no longer supportable by England. You know what a large sum the last expedition has cost, and that the tree which bare this treasure hath no roots.' . . . This country cannot bear the expense of the war any longer.

Within a few days after he had received this letter Cromwell repeated at Wexford the horrors of Drogheda.

After the Restoration the surviving inhabitants of both towns petitioned Charles the Second for restitution of their places and possessions. The petition of the survivors of Drogheda appears to be lost, but that of those of Wexford, read on the 21st of May 1661, is still in existence, and in it these poor people tell their King that:

Oliver Cromwell arriving with a powerful army in Ireland in the year 1649, and having, upon the sacking of Drogheda, put all the inhabitants and soldiers to the sword, that the example thereof might strike a terror into the inhabitants of other towns which he was soon after to besiege, he writ to the petitioners, Wexford being his next design, and invited them to submit to his authority.

Which the inhabitants of Wexford refused to do, with the result that Cromwell 'put man, woman, and child, to a very few, to the sword,' in Wexford also.13

13 I have copied these passages from the original petition at the Record Office. The last passage is omitted in the Calendar of State Papers, Ireland, for 1660-2. Bruodinus (Propugnaculum, &c., p. 679) says that Cromwell : 'Terrestri itinere Dublinium praetergressus Wexfordiam (modicam quidem, et maritimam munitam et opulentem civitatem) versus castra movet, occupato-que, insperate proditione cujusdam perfidi ducis castro, quod moenibus imminebat, in civitatem irruit; opposuere se viriliter agressori praesidiarii simul cum civibus pugnatumque est ardentissime per unius horae spatium inter partes in foro, sed impari congressu, nam cives fere omnes una cum militibus, sine status, sexus aut aetatis discrimine Cromwelli gladius absumpsit.' S. R. Gardiner, citing only the words italicised in this last passage, remarks: The testimony

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