On Saturday, being Whitsun Eve, Martin, our labourer, was shovelling oats and my father went out to look at him. When he saw his master drawing near he laid down his shovel and, looking earnestly at him said,"O master, if you would not betray or injure me, I would like to tell you something which would serve you and yours". My father answered, " you ought to know me well enough by this time Martin to be certain that I ???

"I’m sworn never to tell anyone that won`t take the same oath which I did, to be true to the cause".

"No, you unfortunate man", exclaimed my father, "I had rather see all belonging to me dead at my feet and die with them myself, than be false to the Government that has sheltered me".

On this, Martin, with a heavy sigh, took up his shovel and went on with his work. My father had but little time to think on this, for he was obliged to leave two car loads of oaths at the mill of Monart, to be ground for the use of the family. Monart is rather more than two miles from Clovass, and Grimes the miller was a Protestant, and much respected in the country. As soon as my father cast his eyes on him, he saw that he also knew of something going on, for the utmost consternation was visible in his countenance, yet he hardly exchanged a word with him, for his heart. As he told us, was too full and leaving the oats he turned back with the empty cars, anxious to rejoin us as soon as possible. When he had gone over about half the road he saw imperfectly(for it was now dusk) a great dust a little before him, and heard a confused murmur of voices; a moment after he fancied it might be a body of soldiers advancing for he imagined he saw their bayonets. The next instant he was surrounded by a party of two hundred rebels, armed with pikes, who stopped and dragged him off the car on which he was sitting. My father was no coward, as he proved well in. two days more, but he told us that at that moment the thoughts of all he had left at home came over him, his knees failed him, and if he had not clung to the head of the horse, he would have fallen to the ground. They asked him, all together, who he was and where he was going to and he was utterly unable to answer, but one of them chancing to know him, exclaimed, "Oh, let him go, that is Sam Barber of Clovass, he is an honest man", and they set him at liberty. He came slowly home and, turning the horses over to the care of Martin, he walked in amongst us and his face told us the ruin that was coming upon us, even before his words did. He thought little of eating the supper we had prepared for him and ourselves and, after hearing his story, we stepped out to listen if the armed ruffians were coming back. We heard nothing indeed, but we saw eleven distant blazes in the distance, every one, from its situation, marking out to us where the house and property of some neighbour, friend or relation was consuming. In immediate expectation of a similar fate, we instantly began to load our cars with whatever furniture and provisions were most portable, that at daybreak we might flee with them into Enniscorthy. Whatever we saw was impossible to carry and, particularly all the wool and cloths in the factory, we dragged out to the fields, and concealed in the ridges of the standing corn, and it was but little of what we thus left we ever saw again.

We passed the entire night doing this, but the poor children, hungry and sleepily ate, and lay down in the nearest corner, for we had already packed the beds in the cars. At the break of day we milked the cows about the field, for we could not make use of the milk and, if we had left them unmilked, their udders would have become sore. After several unforeseen, yet necessary delays , we set off for Enniscorthy, about ten o’clock on Whit Sunday morning, just about the same hour we expected to have gone to its church. I carried the infant and my mother, yet weak from a bed confinement, leaned on my fathers arm. The older children followed up, the little one clinging to my gown. My brother, William, was already in Enniscorthy with his corps: the female servant went with us and lead one of the horses, but Martin remained behind with his mother in the little cottage my father had built for them, and when we next saw him he was an armed rebel, for he joined them on the coming day, from his subsequent conduct to us, I cannot think that he was ever guilty of the same cruelties committed by many of his comrades. When we entered Enniscorthy we went to the house of a relation named Willis, who willingly received us, but when we entered , there was hardly room for us to sit down, it was so full of the Protestant inhabitants of the neighbourhood, who had fled into the town for protection, Few of these had time to bring away anything and, those who like us had brought food immediately gave it to be shared in common.

My father, on seeing us safe in the house, immediately went and with a musket and crossbelts to wear over his coloured clothes. There were more than two hundred of the gentry and farmers of the vicinity armed hastily in the same manner; our regular yeomen, who were clothed and disciplined, amounted to about as many more, and we had one company of the North Cork Militia, not ninety- one in number. Excepting these last, all our little garrison were neighbours or friends, or near relations to each other, who knowing the immense force of the rebels, which certainly amounted to more than fifteen thousand men, and their cruelty, for they gave no quarter, knew they had no choice between dying like men with their arms in their hands, or standing tamely like sheep to be butchered. And it was this handful of men, not amounting to five hundred, that we in our simplicity, had thought could conquer all the rebels in the country.


When my father had left us, and we had unloaded our furniture, my sisters and I were at first so unconscious of our danger, that we were rather gratified by the novelty of our situation, and passed some time looking out the windows, watching the yeomen,(some of whom were cavalry) passing hurriedly to and fro, and dispatching between ourselves which of our acquaintances looked best in his uniform, or sat best on his horse. A very short time, however, changed our feelings, when seven or eight men covered with blood were borne into the house, and we were called upon to give up our beds for them to lie on. These were yeomen who had been skirmishing in the immediate neighbourhood and who, full as the house was, were brought into it for immediate relief. I now began for the first time to see some of the miseries that threatened us, and thus passed a few uneasy hours over us, when it suddenly occurred to me that the cows would be injured if they were not milked again, and the servant girl and I set out about six in the evening and, without meeting anything to injure us, reached Clovass in safety. We found all as we had left it, with the poor cows standing lowing to be milked. We each brought away a large pitcher and, on the road home met several Roman Catholic neighbours with whom we had been on the most friendly terms; we spoke to them as usual, but they looked in our faces as though they had never seen us before and passed on. I have since thought that they either looked on us with abhorrence, as these devoted to destruction in this World and in the next or showing our doom and pitying us, were afraid to trust themselves to speak to us.

It was late when we returned to the town and, even in the midst of sorrow, I could still see joy lighten in the faces of my father and mother at our safety; the reports of the advance of the rebels had been so frequent even during our short absence that they feared we might have been intercepted on our return. The milk was most gratefully received as well by our own children and by the other poor little creatures sheltered in that crowded house. We prayed and endeavoured to rest on the bare boards ( for our beds were filled with wounded Yeomen), but, though worn out in mind and body, it was little rest I took that Sunday night, with the moans of the wounded men in the very room with us, and the heat and closeness of the air, so different from our pleasant, airy, little bed-chamber. At the dawn I arose and, after inquiring in vain through the house for the maid servant, (who I afterwards heard had stolen off in the night to join her relations in the rebel camp), my father seeing me anxious again about our cows, said he would go with me for he hoped there would be no immediate want of him in the Town. We went accordingly to the little farm and found that, as yet, all was safe, the cows waiting for us and the poor poultry and pigs looking to us for the food we had not to give them.

My father went to look at his deserted factory and I attended to the cows. I then thought of some griddle-cakes of coarse meal which we had forgotten on a shelf and went to break some of the fowls; my father followed me into our desolate kitchen and, taking a piece of the bread, asked me for a mug of warm milk which I gave to him. When turning to the door, and casting my eyes to the top of Coolnahorna Hill, which was not a quarter of a mile away, I saw the ridges of it filled with men armed with pikes, the heads of them glistening in the morning sun. I called in much trouble to my father and, scarcely knowing what I was doing, took up the large vessel of milk I intended to have carried into town for the children, but, my father looked at me as though for the last time and said, "Lay that down, Jane, it is most likely we shall never want it"!.