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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


174 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. said the Privy Council seemed to be much exasperated against me, and had asked him whether the statement was not in my hand-writing ?-which he had answered by saying he had never seen me write ; that his examination was not legal evidence, as he had refused to sign it ; and that he was determined to return immediately to England ; but that at any rate it was necessary to have two witnesses to convict of high treason ; and if we adhered to one another we should be safe. I asked him whether Jackson’s situation would be rendered worse in case I could make my escape. He said, No ; but he feared the thing would be impossible. I left him with his friend and have never seen him since.‘ “ The next morning I set about my scheme, and got it accomplished at twelve that night. It would be a waste of paper to recount the various deceptions practised on the under jailor, which induced him to accompany me to my own house, where a rope being slung ready out of a two pair of stairs window, enabled me to descend into the garden, and to take a horse out of the stable, and meet a friend who should conduct me to a place of refuge. “When the gaoler became impatient, and forced into my wife’s room, she made him every offer if he would conceal himself and go to America, not raising a pursuit, but permitting it to be supposed that he had accompanied me in my flight, which he absolutely refused, swearing that he would as soon see me hanged.a I was taken to the house of a gentleman named Sweetman, since dead. It was soon found that the most probable means of escaping from this country would be a small pleasure boat of Mr. Sweetman’s ; but she was neither sea-worthy, nor equipped for a Channel cruise ; and a farther question was, who would risk themselves with me who were not in the same danger! Mr. Sweetman, however, did not despair, and was successful. He procured three sailors of the vicinity of Buldoyle, where his house was, about four miles from Dublin, to whom he promised they should be well paid if they would take a gentleman to France in his boat ; and they consented. Two of them, the most trusty, had been in the smuggling trade, and knew the coasts of both countries. In the evening, when Mr. Sweetman returned, the three men came to him and showed him a proclamation which had been distributed during his absence, and which offered in different sums-from the Government, the city, and the gaoler-nearly 22000 for my apprehension. They said, ‘It is Mr. Hamilton Rowan we are to take to France ;’ without hesitation he answered it was. They as instantly replied, ‘ Never mind it. “We sailed with a fair wind, which, however, in the night got ahead, and blew hard. As we could not keep the sea, we returned to our old moorings under Howth. The next day the wind was again fair ; and after some other occurrences on the third day I landed at Roscoff, on the coast of Bretagne, under the fortified town of St. Paul de Leon. “ I remained an eventful year in France, and sailed from Havre, passing as an American to Philadel~hia.~ My departure from France being known, the Earl of Clare gave Mrs. H. R. an assurance that, although the prosecution against me must proceed with the utmost rigour, yet he would use his influence to procure a restoration of the estates to the family-eight children and herself. All the forms of law were gone through, except the appointment of an agent for “ The next day was occupied in procuring provisions, charts, etc. etc. By - we will land him safe.’ The fate of Jackson created great excitement in Dublin. His trial took place in April 1794 ; and being convicted, he was brought up for judgment on the 30th of the same month. He was observed to be suffering from acute bodily pain ; and, while sentence was about to be pronounced, he dropped down and expired. On a post-nwrtent examination it appeared that his death was occasioned by poison, which he had himself administered. * Two of the under keepers of Newgate, Alexander M‘Dowell and William M‘Dowell, were brought to trial at the Court of King’s Bench for “aiding and assisting the escape of Archibald Hamilton Rowan, and sentenced to be imprisoned one year and nine months, being the annexed period of Mr. Rowan’s sentence, and to pay a fine of E250 each, making 2500-the sum which Mr. Rowan was condemned to pay.” He had a narrow escape ; the vessel in which he sailed was boarded by his Majesty’s ship MeZump ; and Mr. Rowan was introduced. to the officer as a Mr. Thomson of South Carolina. Soon after his arrival, he had the singular plemure of meeting accidentally, at a caf6 in Philadelphia, some of his most distinguished friends, Wolfe Tone, Napper Tandy, Thomas Addis Emmet, and others : all active leaders of the United Irishmen, and who had separately succeeded in reaching America. a Mr. Rowan arrived in Philadelphia from Havre on the 17th July 1795.
Volume 9 Page 233
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