From A True and Credible Relation
FromA True and Credible Relation
The rebellion of October 1641 was to have begun with a carefully organized plot to seize Dublin Castle, the seat of English government and administration in Ireland. The plot was foiled, but a major uprising took place, directed at first against the English and then the Scottish settlers in Ulster. Later in the year and early the next it spread slowly to the rest of Ireland.
SEE ALSO Rebellion of 1641
Their Cruell and Damnable Design was first to have surprised the Castle of Dublin upon the 23. day of October Anno predicto, upon a Saturday; the same night all the Popish houses were to be marked with a Crosse to be knowne from the Protestant houses, their intent being upon the Sunday following to have surprised all the Protestants and to have stript them naked, as they did many thousands of men, women and children in other parts of the kingdome of Irelande upon the same day, and also to have surprised all the English shipping, riding at Anchor at a Harbour commonly called the Rings End, about a mile distant from the City of Dublin. But God that saw the bloudy intent discovered their practice by one of their owne faction suffering them to run in their owne wicked hope and cruell imagination, untill the night before their practise should have been put in execution, for the same night the Lord Mack-Gueere an Irish man, and Captaine Mack-Mahowne also an Irish man (who confessed the whole plot) were apprehended, the one in Cookstreet within the City of Dublin, the other neere Dublin in Saint Mary Abbey in the suburbes of the same City, both which have been ever since imprisoned in the Castle of Dublin, and doe still remaine there. . . .
It is too manifest thet the Jesuits those firebrands of hell, and Popish priests were the plotters of this and other Treasons, which can at their pleasure absolve subjects of their obedience to their princes and give power to murther and depose kings, neither could they worke upon a more rebellious and forward nation to doe mischiefe. . . .
It is too well knowne (the more is the pittie and to be lamented) that they have murthered, and starved to death of the English in the province of Ulster and other provinces where they are risen up in (re)bellion of men, women and children alone 20,000.
Their manner is and hath beene, cowardly and treacherously to surprise them upon great advantages, and without respect of persons, to rob them of all they have, but being not content therewith (but as insatiable of bloud) hunting after their pretious lives, stript ladies and gentlewomen, Virgins and Babies, old and young, naked as ever they were borne, from their clothes, turning them into open fields, (where having first destroyed the husbands and the Parents, before their wives and childrens faces) many hundreds have beene founde dead in ditches with cold for want of food and rayment, the Irish having no more compassion of their age or youth, then of Doggs.
As for the Protestant Ministers, those they take (which have been many) they use them with such cruelty, as it would make any heart so melt into teares that doth but heare this relation; Their manner is first to hang them up, and then they cut off their heads, after they quarter them, then they dismember their secret parts, stopping their mouths therewith, a thing indeed for modestie sake, more fit to bee omitted then related.
Many of their wives, they have ravished in their sights before the multitude, stripping them naked to the view of their wicked Companions, taunting and mocking them with reproachful words, sending them away in such a shamefull or rather shameless manner that they have (most of them) either dyed for griefe, or starved with want and cold, such cruelty was never knowne before. . . .
As for the murder of Rebels, it is not certainly knowne; but without question there is a great many of them, but not the third part of them armed, and those armes they have, they have taken from the English, in surprising and murthering them cowardly and treacherously, and some of them under pretence of being rob'd by the Rebells, have deceiptfully gotten Armes to goe fight against them, and then have run away from their Captaines to the Rebells, are indeed there is no trust nor confidence to be put in them, they are so treacherously perfidious.
It is supposed that the chief Rebells doe intend to steale away by Sea (having gotten a great estate from the English Plantators whom they have robbed and murthered) and so leave the ignorant rabble of Irish in the lurch. . . .
It is to be beleeved that the Rebells will never give a Battell, and that in short time they will be starved for want of food, for they have gotten in most parts from the English all they can get, and they wast and devoure that plenty they have, and there is neither plowing nor sowing in those parts, so that it will be impossible for them to subsist long. . . .
They report and allege that Religion is the cause of their war, but that is false for they have had too much liberty and freedome of conscience in Ireland, and that hath made them Rebell. I hope that God that hath discovered their bloudy practice, will confound their devices, and bring them to confusion. To the which God be all honour, praise and Glory for ever.
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. 118–120.