From A Remonstrance . . . , Being the Examinations of Many Who Were Eye-Witnesses of the Same, and Justified upon Oath by Many Thousands

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FromA Remonstrance . . . , Being the Examinations of Many Who Were Eye-Witnesses of the Same, and Justified upon Oath by Many Thousands


Thomas Morley

After the rebellion of October 1641, in which thousands of Protestant planters and their families were driven off their properties in Ulster amidst allegations of numerous atrocities, elaborate efforts were made to document and publicize the widespread destruction and pillage of English and Scottish settlers' property. This account by Thomas Morley relates to the county of Monaghan.

SEE ALSO Rebellion of 1641

In the County of Monaghan M. Blany a Justice of the peace and Knight of the shire, and Committee for the Subsidies, hanged up, stript and buried in a ditch by the rebels (in The County of Monaghan), because he would not turne and goe to masse; and the next night one Luke Ward hang'd and throwne into a ditch; and they and divers others were robbed, and the rest kept in prison, without reliefe from them that robd them. . . .

A man who had severall young children borne and alive, and his wife neere her time of delivery of another, was most cruelly murthered by the rebels, his wife, flying into the mountaines, the rebels, hastily pursued her and her little children, and found her newly delivered of her child there; they pittying no such, nor any distresse, presently murthered her and her other children which runne with her thither, and in most inhumane and barbarous manner suffered their dogs to eate up and devoure the new borne child. . . .

The rebels would send their children abroad in great troopes, especially neere kindred, armed with long wattles an whips, who would therewith beate mens privy members until they beat or rather threshed them off, and then they would returne in great joy to their parents, who received them for such service, as it were in triumph

If any women were found dead, lying with their faces downward, they would turne them upon their backes, and in great flockes resort unto them, censuring all the parts of their bodies, but especially such as are not to be named; which afterwards they abused so many waies and so filthily, as chaste cares would not endure the very naming thereof. . . .

The rebels themselves confessed and told it to Dr. Maxwell while he was prisoner among them, that they killed 954 in one morning in the County of Antrim, and that besides them they supposed they had kild 1100 or 1200 more in that County. . . .

Reference being had to the number in grosse which the Rebels themselves have upon enquiry found out and acknowledged, which notwithstanding will come farre short of all those that have been murthered in Ireland, there being above one hundred fifty four thousand wanting of British within the very precincts of Ulster in March 1641 as by their monethly bills brought in and made by their Priests by speciall direction appeareth.

It is proved by divers witnesses that after the drowning of many Protestants at Portadowne, strange visions and apparitions have been seen and heard there upon the water; sometimes a spirit assuming the shape of a man hath been seen there with his hands held up and closed together; and sometimes in the likenesse of a woman, appearing waste high above the water, with the haire disheveled, eyes twinkled, elevated and clasped hands, crying out, revenge, revenge, &c. and appearing, and crying so many nights together. Other visions and strange voices, and fearful scritchings have been heard where they have drowned the English at other places, as at Beltubat river in the County of Cavan; a lough near Loghgall in the County of Armagh, which have also deterred and affrighted the Irish soldiers and others, that they durst not stay neere the place, but fled away.

In the Countie of Armagh, it was ordinary and common for the rebels to expose the murthered bodies of the British so long unto publique view and censure, that they began to stinke and infect the ayre, (which being a thing very strange) would not sometimes happen untill foure or five weekes after the murther committed. Then at length they would permit some of their bodies to be recovered and cast into ditches, but so as they must be laid with their faces downward. The reason they gave for the same was, that they so placed them to the intent they might have a prospect and sight of Hell onely. And therefore when they kild any of the Protestants they used alwaies these words, Aurius Dewll, which is, thy sole to the divell. . . .

They tooke [a] Scotchman and ripped up his belly, that they might come to his small guts. The one end whereof they tied to a Tree and made him go round untill he had drawne them all out of his body. Then they saying, they would try whether a dog, or a Scotchman's guts were longer. . . .

In the County of Cavan, James O'Rely, Hugh Brady, and other rebels often tooke the Protestant Bibles and wetting them in puddle water, did five or six severell times dash the same in the face of the Protestants, saying, come I know you love a good lesson, here is a most excellent one for you, and come tomorrow and you shall have as good a Sermon. And as the Protestants were going to the Church the rebels tooke and dragged them into the Church by the haire of the head; where they whipt, rob'd, stript, and most cruelly used them, saying, that tomorrow you shall heare the like sermon.

That Rory MacGuire, Sir Phelim O'Neale, and the Northern Rebells in the Counties of Monaghan, Armagh, Lowth, Cavan, Meath and other places where they came, burnt, tore, or otherwise trampled under their feete, and spoyled all the Protestants Bibles, and other good Bookes of the Protestants. . . .

The Generall cruelty to Ministers against Protestants and that religion duly exercised by the Papistrebells scornfull malicious and contemptuous words and blasphemies, are so many and frequently used, and by too wofull experience found and proved by a multitude of witnesses.

Reprinted in Strangers to That Land: British Perceptions of Ireland from the Reformation to the Famine,edited by Andrew Hadfield and John McVeagh (1994), pp. 116–118.

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From A Remonstrance . . . , Being the Examinations of Many Who Were Eye-Witnesses of the Same, and Justified upon Oath by Many Thousands

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From A Remonstrance . . . , Being the Examinations of Many Who Were Eye-Witnesses of the Same, and Justified upon Oath by Many Thousands