Secret Societies of All Ages: Vol 2 - Charles Heckethorn

XV. Irish Societies

658. The White-Boys.—Ireland, helpless against misery and superstition, misled by hatred against her conquerors, the rulers of England, formed sects to fight not so much the evil, as the supposed authors of the evil. The first secret society of Ireland, recorded in public documents, dates from 1761, in which year the situation of the peasants, always bad, had become unbearable. They were deprived of the right of free pasture, and the proprietors, in seven cases out of nine not Irish landlords, but Englishmen by blood and sympathy, began to enclose the commons. Fiscal oppression also became very great. Reduced to despair, the conspirators had recourse to reprisals, and to make these with more security, formed the secret society of the "White-Boys," so called, because in the hope of disguising themselves, they wore over their clothes a white shirt, like the Camisards of the Cevennes. They also called themselves "Levellers," because their object was to level to the ground the fences of the detested enclosures. In November 1761 they spread through Munster, committing all kinds of excesses during the next four-and-twenty years.

659. Right-Boys and Oak-Boys.—In 1787 the above society disappeared to make room for the "Right-Boys," who by legal means aimed at obtaining the reduction of imposts, higher wages, the abolition of degrading personal services, and the erection of a Roman Catholic church for every Protestant church in the island. Though the society was guilty of some reprehensible acts against Protestant pastors, it yet, as a rule, remained within the limits of legal opposition. The vicious administration introduced into Ireland after the rising of 1788, the burden of which was chiefly felt by the Roman Catholics, could not but prove injurious to the Protestants also. The inhabitants, whether Catholic or Protestant, were subject to objectionable personal service hence petitions rejected by the haughty rulers, tumults quenched in blood, whole populations conquered by fear, but not subdued, and ready to break forth into insurrection when it was least expected. Therefore the Protestants also formed societies for their security, taking for their emblem the oakleaf, whence they were known as the "Oak-Boys." Their chief object was to lessen the power and imposts of the clergy. Established in 1764, the society made rapid progress, especially in the province of Ulster, where it had been founded. Unable to obtain legally what it aimed at, it had recourse to arms, but was defeated by the royal troops of England, and dissolved.

660. Hearts-of-Steel, Threshers, Break-of-Day-Boys, Defenders, United Irishmen, Ribbonmen.—Many tenants of the Marquis of Donegal having about eight years after been ejected from their farms, because the marquis, wanting to raise £100,000, let their holdings to Belfast merchants, they, the tenants, formed themselves into a society called "Hearts-of-Steel," thereby to indicate the perseverance with which they intended to pursue their revenge against those who had succeeded them on the land, by murdering them, burning their farms, and destroying their harvests. They were not suppressed till 1773, when thousands of the affiliated fled to America, where they entered the ranks of the revolted colonists. The legislative union of Ireland with England in 1800 did not at first benefit the former country much. New secret societies were formed, the most important of which was that of the "Threshers," whose primary object was the reduction of the exorbitant dues claimed by the clergy of both persuasions, and sometimes their conduct showed both generous impulses and grim humour. Thus a priest in the county of Longford had charged a poor woman double fees for a christening, on account of there being twins. The Threshers soon paid him a visit, and compelled him to pay a sum of money, with which a cow was purchased, and sent home to the cabin of the poor woman. This was in 1807.

Government called out the whole yeomanry force to oppose these societies, but without much success. Political and religious animosities were further sources of conspiracy. Two societies of almost the same nature were formed about 1785. The first was composed of Protestants, the "Break of-Day-Boys," who at dawn committed all sorts of excesses against the wretched Roman Catholics, burning their huts, and destroying their agricultural implements and produce. The Roman Catholics in return formed themselves into a society of "Defenders," and from defence, as was natural, proceeded to aggression. During the revolt of 1798 the Defenders combined with the "United Irishmen," who had initiated the movement. The United Irish were defeated, and their leader, Lord Edward Fitzgerald, having been betrayed by Francis Higgins, originally a pot-boy, and afterwards proprietor of the Freeman's Journal, was taken and condemned to death; but he died of his wounds before the time fixed for his execution. The society of the United Irish, however, was not dispersed. Its members still continued to hold secret meetings, and to reappear in the political arena under the denomination of "Ribbonmen," so named because they recognised each other by certain ribbons. The Ribbonman's oath, which only became known in 1895, was as follows:— "In the presence of Almighty God and this my brother, I do swear that I will suffer my right hand to be cut off my body and laid at the gaol door before I will waylay or betray a brother. That I will persevere, and will not spare from the cradle to the crutch or the crutch to the cradle, that I will not pity the groans or moans of infancy or old age, but that I will wade knee-deep in Orangemen's blood, and do as King James did."

661. St. Patrick Boys.—These seem to have issued from the ranks of the Ribbonmen. Their statutes were discovered and published in 1833. Their oath was: "I swear to have my right hand cut off, or to be nailed to the door of the prison at Armagh, rather than deceive or betray a brother; to persevere in the cause to which I deliberately devote myself; to pardon neither sex nor age, should it be in the way of my vengeance against the Orangemen." The brethren recognised each other by dialogues. "Here is a fine day!" "A finer one is to come."—"The road is very bad." "It shall be repaired."—"What with?" "With the bones of Protestants."—"What is your profession of faith?" "The discomfiture of the Philistines."—"How long is your stick?" "Long enough to reach my enemies."—"To what trunk does the wood belong?" "To a French trunk that blooms in America, and whose leaves shall shelter the sons of Erin." Their aim was chiefly the redress of agrarian and social grievances.

662. The Orangemen.—This society, against which the St. Patrick Boys swore such terrible vengeance, was a Protestant society. Many farms, taken from Roman Catholics, having fallen into the hands of Protestants, these latter were, as we have seen (660), exposed to the attacks of the former. The Protestants in self-defence formed themselves into a society, taking the name of "Orangemen," to indicate their Protestant character and principles. Their first regular meeting was held on the 2ist September 1795, at the obscure village of Loughgall, which was attended by deputies of the Breakof-Day-Boys (660), and constituted into a grand lodge, authorised to found minor lodges. At first the society had only one degree: Orangeman. Afterwards, in 1796, the Purple degree was added; after that, the Mark Man's degree and the Heroine of Jericho (see 701) were added, but eventually discarded. The oath varied but little from that of the entered Apprentice Mason, for Thomas Wilson, the founder of the Order, was a Freemason. The password was Migdol (the name of the place where the Israelites encamped before they passed through the Red Sea Exod. xiv. 2); the main password was Shibboleth. The pass sign was made by lifting the hat with the right hand, three fingers on the brim, then putting the three fingers on the crown, and pressing the hat down; then darting off the hand to the front, with the thumb and little finger together. This sign having been discovered, it was changed to exhibiting the right hand with three fingers on the thigh or knee, or marking the figure three with the finger on the knee. This was the half sign; the full sign was by placing the first three fingers of each hand upon the crown of the hat, raising the elbows as high as possible, and then dropping the hand perpendicularly by the side. This sign was said to be emblematical of the lintels and side-posts of the doors, on which the blood of the passover lamb was sprinkled. The distress word of a brother Orangeman was, "Who is on my side? who?" (2 Kings ix. 32). The grand hailing sign was made by standing with both hands resting on the hips. In the Purple degree the member was asked, "What is your number?"—"Two and a half." The grand main word was, "Red Walls" (the Red Sea). The password was Gideon, given in syllables.

The society spread over the whole island, and also into England, and especially into the manufacturing districts. A grand lodge was established at Manchester, which was afterwards transferred to London, and its grand master was no less a person than the Duke of York. At the death of that prince, which occurred in 1821, the Duke of Cumberland, afterwards King of Hanover, succeeded him both of them men to have the interests of religion confided to them! In 1835 the Irish statutes, having been revised, were made public. The society bound its members over to defend the royal family, so long as it remained faithful to Protestant principles. In the former statutes there were obligations also to abjure the supremacy of the Court of Rome and the dogma of transubstantiation; and although in the modern statutes these were omitted, others of the same tendency were substituted, the society declaring that its object was the preservation of the religion established by law, the Protestant succession of the crown, and the protection of the lives and property of the affiliated. To concede something to the spirit of the age, it proclaimed itself theoretically the friend of religious toleration; but facts have shown this, as in most similar cases, to be a mere illusion. From England the sect spread into Scotland, the Colonies, Upper and Lower Canada, where it reckoned 12,000 members; and into the army, with some fifty lodges. In the United States the society has latterly been showing its toleration! Its political action is well known; it endeavours to influence parliamentary elections, supporting the Whigs. The efforts of the British House of Commons to suppress it have hitherto been ineffectual.

That the custom of indulging in disgraceful mummeries at the ceremony of initiation into this Order has not gone out of fashion, is proved by an action brought in January 1897, in the Middlesex (Massachusetts) Superior Court by one Frank Preble against the officers of a lodge, he having at his initiation been repeatedly struck, when blindfolded, with a rattan, hoisted on a step-ladder, and thrown into a sheet, from which he was several times tossed into the air. Afterwards a red-hot iron was brought to his breast, and he was severely burnt. The jury disagreed, but the outside world will not disagree as to the character of such proceedings.

Other Irish societies, having for their chief object the redress of agrarian and religious grievances, were the "Corders," in East and West Meath; the "Shanavests " and "Caravats "in Tipperary, Kilkenny, Cork, and Limerick; the Whitefeet and Blackfeet, and others, which need not be more fully particularised.

663. Molly Maguires.—This Irish sect was the successor of the White-Boys, the Hearts of Oak, and other societies, and carried on its operations chiefly in the West of Ireland. It afterwards spread to America, where it committed great outrages, especially in the Far West. Thus in 1870 the Molly Maguires became very formidable in Utah, where no Englishman was safe from their murderous attacks, and the officers of the law were unable, or unwilling, to bring the criminals to justice. This led to the formation of a counter society, consisting of Englishmen, who united themselves into the Order of the Sons of St. George, who were so successful as to cause many of the murderers to be apprehended and executed, and ultimately the Molly Maguires were totally suppressed. The Order of St. George, however, continued to exist, and still exists, as a flourishing benefit society; it has lodges in Salt Lake City, Ogden, and other towns in Utah. The name of Molly Maguires was afterwards adopted by a secret society of miners in the Pennsylvanian anthracite districts; with the name of their Irish prototypes they assumed their habits, the consequence of which was that in 1890 ten or twelve members of the society were hanged, and the society was entirely broken up.

664. Ancient Order of Hibernians.—This Order is widely diffused throughout the United States, where it numbers about 6000 lodges. It is divided into two degrees, in the first of which, counting most members, no oath is exacted, and no secrets are communicated. But the second consists of the initiated, bound together by terrible oaths, and who receive their passwords from a central committee, called the Board of Erin, who meet either in England, Scotland, or Ireland, and every three months send emissaries to New York with a new password. Their avowed object is the protection of Irishmen in America—they receive only Roman Catholics into the society—but they are accused of having given great encouragement and assistance to the Molly Maguires, above spoken of, and also of having greatly swelled the ranks of the Fenians. The bulk, however, of the Hibernians ignore the criminal objects of their chiefs; hence the toleration they enjoy in the States, a toleration they undoubtedly deserve, for they have recently (November 1896) nobly distinguished themselves by providing £10,000 for the endowment of a chair of Celtic in the Roman Catholic University of New York.

665. Origin and Organisation of Fenianism.—The founders of Fenianism were two of the Irish exiles of 1848, Colonel John O'Mahoney and Michael Doheny, the latter one of the most talented and dangerous members of the Young Ireland party, and a fervent admirer of John Mitchel. O'Mahoney belonged to one of the oldest families in Munster, but becoming implicated in Smith O'Brien's machinations and failure, he made his escape to France, and thence to America, where, in conjunction with Doheny and General Corcoran, he set the Fenian Brotherhood afloat. It was at first a semi-secret association; its meetings were secret, and though its chief officers were publicly known as such, the operations of the Brotherhood were hidden from the public view. It rapidly increased in numbers, spreading through every State of the American Union, through Canada, and the British provinces. But in November 1863 the Fenian organisation assumed a new character. A grand national convention of delegates met at Chicago, and avowed the object of the Brotherhood, namely, the separation of Ireland from England, and the establishment of an Irish republic, the same changes being first to be effected in Canada. Another grand convention was held in 1864 a Cincinnati, the delegates at which represented some 250,000 members, each of which members was called upon for a contribution of five dollars, and this call, it is said, was promptly responded to. Indeed, the reader will presently see that the leaders of the movement were never short of money, whatever the dupes were. One of the resolutions passed at Cincinnati was that "the next convention should be held on Irish soil." About the same time a Fenian Sisterhood was established, and the ladies were not inactive; for in two months from their associating they returned upwards of .200,000 sterling to the Fenian exchequer for the purpose of purchasing arms and other war material. At that period the Fenians confidently relied on the assistance of the American Government. The New York press rather favoured this notion. In Ireland the Brotherhood never attained to the dimensions it reached in the United States, and without the assistance of the latter could do nothing. Still the Irish, as well as the American Fenian, association had its chiefs, officers, both civil and military, its common fund and financial agencies, its secret oaths, passwords, and emblems, its laws and penalties, its concealed stores of arms, its nightly drills, its correspondents and agents, its journals, and even its popular songs and ballads. But traitors soon set to work to destroy the organisation from within. Thus the Head Centre O'Mahoney, who was in receipt of an official salary of 2000 dollars, is thus spoken of in the Official Report of the Investigating Committee of the Fenian Brotherhood of America (1866):—

"After a careful examination of the affairs of the Brotherhood, your Committee finds in almost every instance the cause of Ireland made subservient to individual gain; men who were lauded as patriots sought every opportunity to plunder the treasury of the Brotherhood, but legalised their attacks by securing the endorsement of John O'Mahoney. . . . In John O'Mahoney's integrity the confidence of the Brotherhood was boundless, and the betrayal of that confidence, whether through incapacity or premeditation, is not a question for us to determine. . . Sufficient that he has proved recreant to the trust. . . Never in the history of the Irish people did they repose so much confidence in their leaders; never before were they so basely deceived and treacherously dealt with. In fact, the Moffat mansion (the headquarters of the American Fenians) was not only an almshouse for pauper officials and hungry adventurers, but a general telegraph office for the Canadian authorities and Sir Frederick Bruce, the British Minister at Washington. These paid patriots and professional martyrs, not satisfied with emptying our treasury, connived at posting the English authorities in advance of our movements."

From this report it further appears that in 1866 there was in the Fenian treasury in the States a sum of 185,000 dollars? that the expenses of the Moffat mansion and the parasites who flocked thither in three months amounted to 104,000 dollars; and that Stephens, the Irish Head Centre, in the same space of time received from America, in money sent to Paris, the sum of upwards of 106,000 dollars, though John O'Mahoney in many of his letters expressed the greatest mistrust of Stephens. He no doubt looked upon the latter as the more clever and daring rogue, who materially diminished his own share of the spoil. Stephens's career in Ireland is sufficiently well known, and there is scarcely any doubt that whilst he was leading his miserable associates to their ruin, he acted as spy upon them, and that there existed some understanding between him and the English authorities. How else can we explain his living for nearly two months in the neighbourhood of Dublin, in a house magnificently furnished, whilst he took no precautions to conceal himself, and yet escaped the vigilance of the police for so long a time? His conduct when at last apprehended, his bravado in the police court and final escape from prison, his traversing the streets of Dublin, sailing for Scotland, travelling through London to France without once being molested all point to the same conclusion. The only other person of note among the Fenians was John Mitchel, who had been implicated in the troubles of 1848, was transported, escaped, and made his way to the United States. During the civil war which raged in that country he was a supporter of the Southern cause, was taken prisoner by the North, but liberated by the President at the request of the Fenians in America.

The Fenian agitation also spread into England. Meetings were held in various towns, especially at Liverpool, where men of considerable means were found to support the Fenian objects and organisations; and on one occasion as much as ,200 was collected in a few minutes in the room where a meeting was held. But disputes about the money thus collected were ever arising. The man who acted as treasurer to the Liverpool Centre, when accused of plundering his brethren, snapped his fingers at them, and declared that if they bothered him about the money he would give evidence against them and have the whole lot hanged. The Fenians, to raise money, issued bonds to be redeemed by the future Irish Republic, of one of which the following is a facsimile:

[Irish Republic] from Secret Societies of All Ages: Vol 2 by Charles Heckethorn

666. Origin of Name.—Irish tradition says that the Fenians were an ancient militia employed on home service for protecting the coasts from invasion. Each of the four provinces had its band, that of Leinster, to which Fionn and his family belonged, being at the head of the others. This Fionn is the Fingal of MacPherson, and the leaders of the movement no doubt saw an advantage in connecting their party with the historical and traditionary glories of Ireland. But the Fenians were not confined to Erin. The name was invented for the society by O'Mahoney, but the Irish never adopted it; they called their association the Irish Republican Brotherhood, or briefly, the I.R.B. Fenianism was officially restricted to the American branch of the movement.

667. Fenian Litanif.—From the Patriotic Litany of Saint Lawrence O'Toole, published for the use of the Fenian Brotherhood, the following extract may suffice:—

"Call to thine aid, most liberty-loving O'Toole, those Christian auxiliaries of power and glory the soul -in spiring cannon, the meek and faithful musket, the pious rifle, and the conscience-examining pike, which, tempered by a martyr's faith, a Fenian's hope, and a rebel's charity, will triumph over the devil, and restore to us our own in our own land for ever. Amen."

O'Toole, hear us.

From English civilisation,

From British law and order,

From Anglo-Saxon cant and freedom,

From the hest of the English Queen,

From Rule Britannia,

From the cloven hoof,

From the necessity of annual rebellion,

From billeted soldiery,

From a pious church establishment,

O'Toole, deliver us!

Fenianism to be stamped out like the cattle plague!

We will prove them false prophets, O'Toole.

Ireland reduced to obedience,

Ireland loyal to the crown,

Ireland pacified with concessions,

Ireland to recruit the British army,

Ireland not united in effort,

It is a falsehood O'Toole.

Ireland never again to be dragged

at the tail of any other nation!

Proclaim it on high, O'Toole.

668. Events from 1865 to 1871.—In speaking of Stephens, it was mentioned that he was a spy on the Fenians, but he was not the only informer that betrayed his confederates to the English Government; which latter, in consequence of "information thus received," made its first descent on the Brotherhood in 1865, at the office of the Irish People, and captured some of the leading Fenians. Shortly after, it seized Stephens, who, however, was allowed to make his escape from Richmond Prison, where he had been confined, in the night of November 24 of the above year. Further arrests took place in other parts of Ireland, and also at Liverpool, Manchester, and other English towns. The prisoners were indicted for treason-felony, and sentenced to various degrees of punishment. Various raids into Canada, and the attempt on Chester Castle, all ending in failure, next showed that Fenianism was still alive. But it was more prominently again brought before the public by the attack at Manchester, in September 1867, on the police van conveying two leaders of the Fenian conspiracy, Kelly and Deasey, to the city prison, who were enabled to make their escape, whilst Sergeant Brett was shot dead by William O'Meara Allen, who was hanged for the deed.

A still more atrocious and fatal Fenian attempt was that made on the Clerkenwell House of Detention, with a view of liberating two Fenian prisoners, Burke and Casey, when a great length of the outer wall of the prison was blown up by gunpowder, which also destroyed a whole row of houses opposite, killed several persons, and wounded and maimed a great number. On that occasion again Government had received information of the intended attempt by traitors in the camp, but strangely enough failed to take proper precautionary measures.

On December 24, 1867, the Fenians made an attack on the Martello Tower at Fota, near Queenstown, Co. Cork, and carried off a quantity of arms and ammunition; and their latest exploit, in 1871, was another Canadian raid, when they crossed the border at Pembina, and seized the Canadian Custom-House and Hudson's Bay post. They were, however, attacked and dispersed by American troops, and General O'Neil was made prisoner. This raid, the object of which was to secure a base of action, and also to receive from the American Government a recognition of belligerency, was carried out totally independently of the new Irish Fenian confederation, of which O'Donovan Rossa was the moving spirit; and the Irish papers therefore pooh-poohed the account of this fiasco altogether, or merely gave the telegrams, denying that the enterprise had any connection with Fenianism.

About this time it seemed as if the Fenian Brotherhood was breaking up; O'Donovan Rossa retired from the "Directory" of the confederation, and went into the wine trade. The Fenians themselves denounced the notorious Stephens, who reappeared in America, as a "traitor" and government informer; and though the acquittal of Kelly for the murder of head-constable Talbot seemed to point to a strong sympathy surviving amongst the Irish people with Fenianism, the jury perhaps could give no other verdict than the one they arrived at, the prosecution having been altogether mismanaged by the Government.

669. The Soi-disant General Cluseret.—Another personage had in the meantime become connected with the Fenians, a soi-disant General Cluseret, who had been a captain in the French army, but had been compelled to quit it in consequence of some irregularity in the regimental funds, of which Cluseret had kept the books and the cash. He afterwards served with Garibaldi in Sicily, and Fremont in the United States, after which he bestowed on himself the rank of General. He came to Europe with the mission of reporting to the Fenians of New York on English arsenals, magazines, and ports of entry. In an article published by him in Fraser in 1872, entitled, "My Connection with Fenianism," he tells the world that he offered to command the Fenians if 10,000 men could be raised, but the money to do so was not forthcoming. He asserted that he had communications with the Reform League, whose members favoured his designs; but he failed, as he says, because he had a knot of self-seekers and ignorant intriguers to deal with; "and traitors," he might have added, for it is certain that the intended attack on Chester Castle failed because the English Government had had early notice of the plot. A rising Cluseret attempted to head in Ireland came to grief, and the general speedily made his escape to France, where he became mixed up with the Commune (507).

670. Phoenix Park Murders, and Consequences.—Fenianism for a time was quiescent, but about 1880 the Land League was established, and by its agents, the "Moonlighters," entered on a course of outrages, chiefly against farmers for paying rent, which has not yet ceased, though their leader, D. Connell, and a number of his followers were apprehended early in 1882. This year was farther distinguished in the annals of crime by the murder of Lord F. Cavendish, the Chief Secretary for Ireland, and Mr. Thomas Burke, the Under-Secretary, in Phoenix Park, Dublin; but the assassins were not apprehended until January 1883, one of the guilty parties, James Carey, having turned informer. He received a pardon, and was sent out of the country, but shortly after shot by O'Donnell, who was executed for this murder. The law, of course, cannot sanction the slaying of an informer, but public sentiment says, "Served him right," especially in this case, as Carey was as deeply implicated in the Phoenix Park murders as any of the other criminals. The trial of these led to the disclosure of an organisation known as the "Irish Invincibles," whose chief was P.J. Tynan, who passed under the sobriquet of Number One, and which organisation was the instigator and executor of the Phoenix Park and of many other murders, including, for instance, the massacre of the Maamtrasna family.

671. Dynamite Outrages.—In this year (1882) the Fenians began the use of dynamite; a large quantity of this material was discovered, together with a quantity of arms, concealed in a vault in the town of Cork; later on the Fenians attempted the storing tip of dynamite and arms in London and other English towns; a considerable number of rifles and large quantities of ammunition were seized in a house at Islington in July 1882; dynamite was sent to this country from America, but its introduction being difficult, the Fenians attempted to manufacture it here; a laboratory, stocked with large quantities of the raw and finished material, was discovered at Ladywood, near Birmingham, in April 1883. Still, the explosive and infernal machines continued to be smuggled into this country, and attempts were made to blow up public buildings in London and elsewhere, the attempts, however, doing, fortunately in most cases, but little harm. One of the most serious was the one made at Glasgow early in 1883. In a manifesto issued in April 1884 by the Fenian brotherhood, signed by Patrick Joyce, secretary, the Fenians call this "inaugurating scientific warfare," and declare their intention to persevere until they have attained their object, the freedom of Ireland.

In December 1884 an attempt to blow up London Bridge with dynamite had no other result but to blow up the two men who made the attempt; the chief instigators of all these attempts were two American organisations; the first was that of O'Donovan Rossa, the second that of the association called the Clan-na-Gael. Rossa had agents in Cork, London, and Glasgow; but two of the most important, Fetherstone (whose real name is Kennedy) and Dalton, were apprehended, and sentenced to penal servitude for life. Since then the party of Rossa has been powerless. An unsuccessful attempt on O'Donovan Rossa's life was made early in 1885 by an English lady, a Mrs. Dudley. Within a fortnight after an advertisement appeared in O'Donovan's paper, offering a reward of ten thousand dollars for the body of the Prince of Wales, dead or alive. And yet, but a few months ago (1896), this would-be assassin, or instigator of assassination, was permitted to walk about in England, in perfect freedom, and even to enter the Houses of Parliament!

The Clan-na-Gael is a more serious affair; originally it was a purely patriotic scheme for the removal of British power over Ireland; it did not advocate the slaughter of innocent people by the indiscriminate use of dynamite. But eventually a certain violent faction obtained control, and gained possession of the large funds of the Clan, the bulk of which they absorbed for their own enrichment. Dr. Cronin, who could have proved this, was murdered. The branches of the Clan-na-Gael extend over the whole of the United States. Its heads are three in number: Alexander Sullivan, of Chicago; General Michael Kerwin, of New York; and Colonel Michael Boland, of the same city. Sullivan was a great friend of Patrick Egan, the treasurer of the Land League. One of the agents of the Clan-na-Gael was John Daly, who intended to blow up the House of Commons by throwing a dynamite bomb on the table of the House from the Strangers' Gallery. He was arrested at Chester in April 1884, and sentenced to penal servitude for life. The attempts on the House of Commons, and the explosions at the Tower and Victoria Railway Station, were also the work of the Clan-na-Gael, twenty-five members of which have been condemned to penal servitude, two-thirds of them for life. John S. Walsh, residing in Paris, and the Ford family in America, are also known as dangerous agents of the association. The dynamiters were not quite so active after the capture and conviction of so many of their party, but confined themselves to occasional and comparatively insignificant attempts, but murder was rife in Ireland. These events, however, are now, thanks to the Report of the Judges of the Parnell Commission, so easily accessible to every reader, that they need not be specified here.

672. The National League.—This is scarcely an association, though generally considered such. It is not an Irish production,but created in a foreign land, and directed by foreign agents, whose designs are unknown. The people have given their allegiance to it because of the large bribes it offered to their cupidity, and the fear it inspired. The secret societies give the League their assistance, without which it would be powerless. But the real heads who direct the operations of the rank and file keep carefully out of the way; but whilst the rank and file know they have nothing to fear from the people, who will not give them up, they know that any one of their own body may at any time betray them by turning informer. The Invincibles held their own for a long time, but once the police got hold of them, informers appeared in every direction. This shows, according to Ross of Bladensburg, in Murray's Magazine, December 1887, from which I quote, that the Irish have no real faith in their own cause; that they are not, like the Nihilists, honest patriots, prepared to suffer in a cause they consider just, but a people led astray by a band of selfish agitators, whose machinations are pleasantly exposed in the following passages, with which I will endeavour to give an enlivening finish to this necessarily dry account of the Fenian movement up to 1888.

673. Comic Aspects of Fenianism.—In "The New Gospel of Peace according to St. Benjamin," an American publication of the year 1867, the author says:

"About those days there arose certain men, Padhees, calling themselves Phainyans, who conspired together to wrest the isle of Ouldairin from the queen of the land of Jonbool. Now it was from the isle of Ouldairin that the Padhees came into the land of Unculpsalm. . . Although the Padhees never had established government or administered laws in Ouldairiu, they diligently sought instead thereof to have shyndees therein, first with the men who sought to establish a government for them; but if not with them, then with each other. . .

"Now the Padhees in the land of Unculpsalm said one to another, Are we not in the land of Unculpsalm, where the power of Jonbool cannot touch us, and we are many and receive money; let us therefore conspire to make a great shyndee in the isle of Ouldairin. . . And they took a large upper room and they placed men at the outside of the outer door, clad in raiment of green and gold, and having drawn swords in their hands. For they said, How shall men know that we are conspiring secretly, unless we set a guard over ourselves? And they chose a chief man to rule them, and they called him the Hid-Sinter, which, being interpreted, is the top-middle; for, in the tongue of the Padhees, hid is top, and sinter is middle. . . And it came to pass that after many days the Hid-Sinter sent out tax-gatherers, and they went among the Padhees, and chiefly among the Bidhees throughout the city of Gotham, and the other cities in the land of Unculpsalm, and they gathered tribute, . . . and the sum thereof was great, even hundreds of thousands of pieces of silver. Then the Hid-Sinter and his chief officers took unto themselves a great house and spacious in the city of Gotham, . . . and fared sumptuously therein, and poured out drink-offerings night and day unto the isle of Ouldairin. And they set up a government therein, which they called the government of Ouldairin, and chose unto themselves certain lawgivers, which they called the Sinnit. . .

"Now it came to pass when certain of the Padhees, Phainyans, saw that the Hid-Sinter and his chief officers . . . fared sumptuously every day, . . . and lived as if all their kinsfolk were dying day by day, and there was a ouaic without end, that their souls were moved witli envy, and they said each within his own heart, Why should I not live in a great house and fare sumptuously? But unto each other and unto the world they said: Behold, the HidSinter and his officers do not govern Ouldairn righteously, and they waste the substance of the people. Let us therefore declare their government to be at an end, and let us set up a new government, with a new Hid-Sinter, and a new Sinnit, even ourselves. And they did so. And they declared that the first Hid-Sinter was no longer Hid-Sinter, but that their Hid-Sinter was the real Hid-Sinter, . . . and moreover they especially declared that tribute-money should no more be paid to the first Hid-Sinter, but unto theirs. But the first Hid-Sinter and his officers would not be set at nought, . . . and so it came to pass that there were three governments for the isle of Ouldairn; one in the land of Jonbool, and two in the city of Gotham in the land of Unculpsalm. But when the Phanyans gathered unto themselves men, Padhees, in the island of Ouldairin, who went about there in the night-time, with swords and with spears and with staves, the governors sent there by the queen of Jonbool took those men and cast some of them into prison, and banished others into a far country," etc.

674. Events from 1888 to 1896.—The revelations made in 1888 and 1890 before the "Special Commission," have rendered the history of the Fenian conspiracy quite familiar up to that date. Of subsequent events the following are noteworthy. On the 22d October 1890 the Convention of the Fenian brotherhood in America was held at New Jersey, when it was resolved to make it an open association de facto, it was already so after the disclosures before the Commission the council only being bound by oath, and that the object should be to form naval and military volunteer forces to aid the United States in the event of war with any foreign State. At a convention held at New York in July 1891, it was again argued that the only organisation now advisable was one with a military basis. The Clan-na-Gael continued to hold abortive meetings; outrages of every kind, including murder, were rife in Ireland up to 1892, since which time Ireland is supposed to be pacified, though the frequently repeated dynamite outrages in England, and the revival of Fenianism in America, would lead to a very different conclusion. As to this revival, the Irish Convention, commonly called "the physical force convention," met in September 1895 at Chicago, and resolved on the formation of a permanent organisation for the recovery, by arms, of Irish independence. Among the delegates there were more than one thousand present were O'Donovan Rossa and Tynan (No. 1), and the chairman, Mr. John Finerty, ex-member of Congress.

In August 1896 a Belfast paper stated that, owing to the discovery of a secret society of Ribbonmen in Armagh, special detective duty had been ordered by the constabulary authorities at Dublin Castle.

And yet, in spite of all this, Government has recently released some of the most atrocious dynamiters, originally and justly sentenced to lifelong penal servitude!

In September 1896, the notorious Patrick Tynan, known under the name of No. 1, and who was implicated in the Phoenix Park murders, was arrested at Boulogne; but the demand of the British Government for his extradition was refused by that of France, on the grounds that sufficient evidence identifying him with No. 1 had not been produced; that even if such identification were established, there was not sufficient proof to identify Tynan as one of the men who participated in the murder of Mr. Burke; and, lastly, that his case was covered by "prescription," which in France is acquired after ten years, an extension to twenty years being allowed only after a trial at which the accused had been present. But Tynan had effected his escape after the murders. And so he was set at liberty by the French Government, though it was shown that he had been in frequent communication whilst at Boulogne with English dynamiters, plotting against England at that very time. Of course the French acted on the strict letter of the Code Napoleon and of the Extradition Treaty between the two countries; but when the law and the treaty afford such loopholes to the vilest of criminals, it is high time both were revised. On his release from the French prison, Tynan wrote a long letter to his wife why should it be published? in which he expresses his admiration of Russian civilisation (!), and thanks God for tempering the wind to the shorn lamb (!). Beware of a murderer who gives vent to such language; he is more dangerous than the one who is violent and brutal in his speech.

675. Most Recent Revelations.—One of the dynamiters whom Tynan had been in close and recent communication with was Edward J. Ivory, alias Bell, an American, who had been apprehended on British territory, and was charged at the Bow Street Police Court, on the 13th November 1896, with conspiring with others to cause dynamite explosions within the United Kingdom. He was committed for trial, but when that took place at the Old Bailey, in January 1897, the prosecution, in spite of the fact that the prisoner's movements gave room for very grave suspicions, suddenly collapsed on a purely technical point, and Ivory was, by the judge's direction, pronounced "Not guilty" by the jury, and of course immediately discharged. Were it necessary to vindicate the impartiality of English justice, and its tender regard for the interests and claims of a person accused, the issue of this trial would afford a very striking and honourable instance of both. How far the interests of justice, the maintenance of law, and the dignity of the country are served by such verdicts, is altogether a different question, the answer to which cannot be satisfactory.