Saturday, June 27, 2020

John Mitchel's "History of Ireland, from the Treaty of Limerick to the Present Time", William Drennan and Scotland

John Mitchel (1815-1875; Wikipedia here) is in the news again due to his statue in Newry and his infamous pro-slavery views. His father was a Presbyterian minister; John jr was married at famous Drumcree Parish Church outside Portadown in 1837. Mitchel's History of Ireland is online here.

There are many interesting references in it, such as these two: –

p.346 – "a strong address written by Dr Drennan was sent by the Society of United Irishmen in Dublin to the delegates for promoting a reform in Scotland, in which this sentence occurs ... 'If Government has a sincere regard for the safety of the constitution, let them coincide with the people in the speedy reform of its abuses, and not, by an obstinate adherence to them, drive that people into Republicanism'"

p.463 – "the seeds of insurrection which had manifested themselves in Scotland and England were, by the vigour and promptitude of the British government, rapidly crushed ... Lord Melville had obtained and published prints of the different pikes manufactured in Scotland, long before that weapon had been manufactured by the Irish peasantry..."
• The original source for the William Drennan and Archibald Hamilton Rowan address 'for promoting a reform in Scotland' is online here, dated 23 November 1792

There's also an interesting reference to the horrors of Glencoe in 1692, on p. 15 – "King William we are assured did not wish to perpetuate this iniquity ... but certain wicked advisers in Scotland forced him to do the one deed ... in Scotland it was the wicked Master of Stair, together with the vindictive Marquis of Breadalbane, who planned the slaughter"

• The 'Master of Stair' was John Dalrymple (Wikipedia here) ; the Marquis of Breadalbane was John Campbell (Wikipedia here).