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Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Date Posted:

Days of Deliverance Part 8: The Irish Rebellion 1641: Rome’s Plotting Exposed

Dr Clive Gillis

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chr. 7:14

Now we have established beyond doubt the sheer horror of the 1641 rebellion, let us see how Rome engineered this worst of bloodbaths.  The slaughter of innocent men, women and children was, as we have seen, so savage that even the revisionist historians have always had to admit in the end that a terrible atrocity did occur.

But not Rome.  That much lauded Vatican historian of the popes, Ludwig Von Pastor, managed to fill 40 volumes.  He was clearly under no restraint of space!  The terrible 1641 massacre is to be found in volume 29.  Pastor summaries the thirty two volumes of attested depositions of the atrocities, preserved in Dublin, thus; thus “From the end of 1641 bands of mostly unarmed men roamed over the country, driving the protestant interlopers from their domains.  Blood flowed of course, though at first the Irish had not contemplated such an eventuality.  At a later date the number of victims was enormously exaggerated, beyond the limits of all possibility, when grounds were looked for to justify a refusal to restore the Irish to their own property.”

And that is all.  Pastor’s page header, ‘The Inhuman Treatment of the Irish’, refers not to the victims of the massacre but to those Irish who afterwards suffered just punishment for treason.

What was Pastor’s motive?  As we shall see, the Vatican had strained every muscle to seize Ireland at this juncture and failed.  There were whispers in the Courts of Europe that Rome was no longer invincible and their spymasters and intelligence gatherers had to be convinced that it was not so.  Ireland was then a long way from Rome.  The news of bloodshed was common knowledge and the Vatican’s failure to conquer Ireland could be explained away simply in terms of the time not having been right for the rebellion to succeed in overthrowing the British.  The Vatican had to save face at all costs.

Rome and Irish nationalism

Rome cares nothing for the cause of Irish nationalism when it does not suit her.  In times past, the instinct for a homeland has burned as bright in the hearts of Bible believing Irish Protestant as it has in Irish Roman Catholic hearts.  Rome has distorted such loyalties out of all recognition to meet her own needs.  The traditional Jesuit explanation for the 1641 uprising was greedy acquisition of land by the English, through confiscation, to implement Plantation policy.  But the Plantation policy was commenced under Bloody Mary and revived by James I.  It cannot be identified solely with Protestantism.  The box explains the complex situation existing in Ireland prior to 1641.  The Vatican has never had more than a modest army.  Instead she manipulates complexities such as these to mobilize the armies of others to fight her battles.  Such an opportunity had now arisen.

Prosperity of Ireland

Prior to 1641 the factions listed in the box tolerated each other.  A Protestant wrote:  “In this blessed condition of peace and security the English and Irish, the Protestants and Roman Catholics live mingled together … the wealth of the Kingdom was exceedingly increased by the importation of great store of money (and) wonderful increase in trade; the land was generally improved … by new sorts of husbandry which that people had been utterly unacquainted with”.

An Old Englishman wrote, “The colonies (of planters) setting aside their different tenets in matters of religion were as perfectly incorporated and as firmly knit together as frequent marriages, daily ties of hospitality and the mutual bond between Lord and tenant could unite any people … the land by the blessing of peace was so well inhabited, so much improved,” Even a Gaelic Irishman wrote that Ireland was, “one of the best islands in Europe,” standing, “in fairer terms of happiness and prosperity than ever it had done these 500 years past”.  The Vatican was fuming. 

Henrietta Maria

So Rome set about inciting a rebellion in Ireland for her own ends.  This followed intelligence from Scotland.  The court of Henrietta Maria, Charles I’s Romanist wife, was full of Papal agents and Jesuits.  They incited Charles I and Archbishop Laud to a course of action which would destabilize Scotland.  Hostilities broke out between Charles and the Scottish Covenanters in 1640.  Immediately Charles demanded 20,000 Irish fighting men and a large sum of Irish money.  An expert wrote in 1994, “It is vital to recognize the Scottish dimension in the crisis … the Scottish war created financial pressure … the stress imposed by the conflict in Scotland and its repercussions in England placed ultimately unbearable stress on a vulnerable (Irish) system … information is sparse … about the early stage of the rebellion … Sir John Temple reported in 1642 (that) … the Jesuits and other priests had spread the story before the rebellion that all Catholics in Ireland were about to be slaughtered.”

Rome hijacks an army

What could Rome hope to gain from the Scottish situation to further her plans for inciting revolution in Ireland?

The same expert says that having minutely examined all the Vatican, Scottish, Irish and English archives, “It is evident that, if the primary aim of the rebellion was the security of Catholicism in Ireland (which was indeed the Vatican’s intention), a change … in government would have to follow”.  Consequently, “Only violent action by the Roman Catholics would hold out such a hope”.  And what force could guarantee that a new Romanist Governor could be set up in Dublin, independent of the English parliament, and be certain of securing Roman Catholicism in Ireland on cessation of hostilities?  The clear answer was that the Vatican had to hijack the embryo anti-Covenanter army raised to go to Scotland.

Luke Waddington

The center of operations for executing this strategy was the Irish college of St Isidore in Rome.  Rome’s man was St Isidore’s founder, Franciscan Luke Waddingington (see illustration).  Rome says officially of him, “Wadding was not only the official representative and indefatigable agent in the Roman Curia of the archbishops and bishops of Ireland, but the Holy See took no measure of importance concerning that country without consulting him”.

Waddington, born in Waterford, became a Franciscan and pursued a distinguished academic career which cloaked his activities as a secret agent.  His brother and two cousins were Jesuits, and, after a glorious foundation in 1628, St Isidore’s was suddenly “surrendered” to the Jesuits by order of the Pope in 1635.  When the chance to seize back Ireland arose, the Vatican must have thought that Waddington personally was up to the job, but that a supporting Jesuit team would be more effective than a Franciscan one.

It is crucial for Protestants to grasp that Waddington was linked beyond doubt to the plotting stage of the rebellion.  A letter survives from plotter Owen Roe, then abroad, which was penned to Waddington at St Isidore’s bearing the date the July 8th 1641.  This was months prior to the Rebellion.  It is full of intelligence. Waddington’s reply has naturally never been made public.  An “ultra secret meeting” between the two was planned with Roe financing the trip.  Prior to this there had been “prolonged correspondence between the Gaelic Irish in Ireland and their fellow countrymen serving as priests and soldiers abroad”.

A hitch then occurred.  It looked as if the embryo army which was needed to guarantee Romanist supremacy in a new Confederate Irish State, although not now going to Scotland might instead be sent to Flanders.

Priests break cover

Rome’s scheme was seriously threatened.  She had to break cover.  Priests intervened personally in an attempt to stop Irish fighting men from boarding the war ships!  Our impartial expert concludes, “Waddington’s involvement, the report of the intervention of the priests with the embarkation of troops, and the frequent references to priests in Maguire’s relation (Lord Connor Maguire of Country Fermanagh was a key Old English plotter) leave no doubt about the involvement of the clergy (Roman Catholic priests) in the plotting”.

The only force that could possibly hold together a newly created Roman Catholic Irish State, virtually governed by the pope of Rome and independent of Britain, would be a confederation of the forces of the Northern RC Gaelic Chiefs of Ulster and the Old English RC’s of the south.  The Gaelic chiefs looked to Spain, France or any continental Romanist power willing to support them.  The Old English still looked to the British Crown.  The two forces had only their Roman Catholicism in common.  Rome’s meddling now forced the Old English to choose between the Pope and the Crown.

Waddington, his Jesuit spies, and, up to a point, the Pope were the only parties with an overview during the autumn of 1641.  Waddington spent July to October 1641 subtly playing off the parties against one another.  But why were the Old English leaders fooled by Jesuit rumours of the impending slaughter of Roman Catholics?  The ordinary folk might well be taken in, but surely not the aristocracy?  This was Rome’s masterstroke.  The post of Lord Deputy of Ireland was vacant and Charles I had appointed the Earl of Leicester.  He was reputed to be a Puritan.  That struck fear into the RC Old English of Ireland and made them, most unusually, susceptible to Rome’s propaganda.

Vatican Microfilm

The Papal nuncio at the court of Henrietta Maria naturally exploited this situation to the maximum.  But microfilm from the Vatican Secret Archive reveals the presence in London at that time of a further cunning papal agent.  He was in deep cover and his never been identified with certainty.  Our expert describes him as capable of “astute political analysis”.  He incessantly stirred up the fears of increased Protestant Parliamentary authority in Ireland in every powerful, if unwitting, Roman Catholic ear to which he had access.

This spymaster worked Rome’s agents in Ireland so well that no reassurances from any quarter would allay Old English fears of increasing English interference in their affairs, the extension of Protestantism and with that, the dreaded plantation policy.

The Old English feared the latter particularly because they realized that careful Protestant legal scrutiny might well unmask the dubious basis on which he medieval titles to their estates rested.  There was nowhere to go but to run straight into the arms of the Gaelic chieftains.

Yet, Praise the Lord, just when it looked as if Rome had won, the Confederation began to crack open and the Lord from heaven ushered in an amazing Day of Deliverance as we shall, DV, in our next article.

The four fragile Irish alliances that existed before the massacre of 1641

The Native Gaelic Irish: Original stronghold in Ulster.  Controlled one third of the land.  Mostly Pre-Reformation Roman Catholics, but some were Church of Ireland people especially where Plantations had not affected them.

The Old English:  Controlled one third of the land mostly around Dublin and southwards.  Mostly Pre- Reformation Roman Catholics who emigrated in medieval times.  They feared that the modern English Parliament might oust them from their land which was often held by dubious ancient title.

The New English: Mostly Church of Ireland and some Puritans.  The majority were God fearing and hard working but a few of their leaders sought to use the advance of Protestantism to further Plantation policy.

The Scots: They started as a Tudor dribble of Pre- Reformation Roman Catholics.  Scottish Highland immigration was outlawed by Bloody Mary but Scottish James VI (James I of England) reversed this in 1613-15 and encouraged the Protestant Lowland Scots to emigrate.  They settled mostly in Ulster.  They tended to non-conformity.

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