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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


B I 0 G RAP €I I CA L S K ET C H E S. 175 the Crown. This consoling information Was received by Lord Clare in 1769, with a passport from the British Government for me to meet my family in Denmark, and a farther promiseo f procuring me a pardon when there should be a peace with France. 6‘ Lord Clare died between the time of the signature of the preliminaries and that of the definite peace of 1803, and I was left without a Patron. &fr. Thomas Stet&, whose schoo~-fe,ow and fellow-collegian 1 had been, having heard these declarations, was induced by a mutnal friend to adopt my cause, and he followed it UP with a zeal I can nerer forget. When tile French armies were approaching Hamburgh, where I then resided with my family, he procured for me a promise of a pardon, if I would accept of it on the condition of never setting my foot in land without the permission of the Irish Government, which was to be expressed in the body of the pardon, niider a large penalty. I accepted of the terms with thankfulness, and embarked for England. Mr. Steele procured the instrument, to be immediately drawn up alld laid before the Chancellor to receive the great soal. The Chancellor refused to put the seal to such an instrument ; and it was above a year after-during which time it was found that the pardon must be under the great seal of Ireland, where the treason was committed-that he gave as i( reason for his refusal, that it would have put it in my power, on the payment of the pardon sum, to have gone to Ireland whenever I pleased. “ I then petitioned the Irish Government, stating the circumstances of the case, and I received an unconditional pardon. But the same condition of not residing or going to Ireland, without the permission of the Irish Government, was implied. In the summer 1805 I appeared in the Court of King’s Bench here, and pleaded my pardon.’ I returned immediately after to England, according to promise. Shortly after, my father died ; and I applied to Lord Castlereagh to procure me a permission to pass a fern months on my family estate, to regulate my affairs. He was so good as to make the application ; but before Lord Hardwicke’s answer arnved a change of ministry took place ; and I then applied for a permission to reside in Ireland, which was granted; and I have lived here ever since, most sincerely anxious to promote peace, harmony, and submission to the laws and constitution of Britain.” From this period fib. Rowan continued to reside in domestic quiet-enjoying the respect of his fellow-citizens, and the entire confidence of Government. He sat for many years on the bench as a magistrate ; and he and his family were frequently to be met, “in dresses singularly splendid,” at the Castle drawingrooms, “where they were well received by the viceroy, and many of the nobility and gentry.” Mr. Rowan died at his house in Holles Street, Dublin, on the 6th November 1834, in the eighty-fourth year of his age-having outlived his eldest son, Captain Gawin William Hamilton, C.B., so much distinguished as a naval officer, and who expired ‘‘ at Rathcoffey, County Kildare, the seat of his aged father,” on the 17th August previous, in the fiftieth year of his age. hfr. Frederick Hamilton Rowan, a younger son-a midshipman in the navy-was killed at the battle of Palamos in 18 10. The following account of hfr. Hamilton Rowan in his old age, by a gentleman of this city, appeared in the Edinburgh Literary Journal for November 1831 :- I “In the Court of King% Bench, Dublin, on the 1st of July, the outlam against Mr. Hamilton Rowan wa8 reversed ; and, $eading his Majesty’s pardon, he was discharged ; previous to which he made a very handsome speech, in which he expressed his gratitude to his Majesty for his clemency, by which he was enabled Once more to meet his wife and children, who had not only been unmolested, but had been protected and cherished when he was in a foreign He regretted with much sensibility, the of his former life, and the violent meaureS he had pursued, and promised to atone for them to his country and his family, W his future loyal conduet.” -Scots Mugw’n8, 1805.
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176 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. “ Happening to be in Dublin in October 1829, I solicited a friend of Mr. Rowan to introduce me to him. He was the last remnant of that band of patriots, who had trod every selfish feeling under foot for the sake of their common country, I had from childhood deemed him an impersonation of all that is noble, and longed to hear from his own lips, after the sufferings he had endured, whether, in the eighty-fifth year of his age,’ the ardent principles of his youth still held undiminished sway in his heart. His appearance affected me much ; instead of the tall, broad, manly form I had read of, he was sadly shrunken ; the fiery eye was dim with years, and almost blind. But his identity was not difficult to trace-the aompressed lip, the expanded nostril, and the bold outline- expressed that lofty moral resolution which had always distinguished his career. When my friend presented me to him, he remarked-‘ You see an old man, who should, long ere now, have‘been in his grave ; my strength is fast failing me, and, as my early and dearest friends are all in the other world, I long to follow them. But I .ought not to regret having lived till now, since I have seen the stains wiped from my country’s brow by the passing of the Relief Bill.’a When I adverted to the prominent part he had acted in the troubles of 1793, his dim eye flashed with young life, and he rejoined ‘ Yes, Ireland had then many a clear head and brave heart.’ On alluding to his unexpected meeting with his friends in Philadelphia, pulses which had long slumbered seemed again to beat, and he replied, ‘ That was an hour of excessive interest, and one of the happiest of my chequered life.’ In the course of my interview, I took the liberty of asking him ‘whether, after his long exile, and numerous bereavements ; and, more than all, the dark cloud of obloquy in which his enemies had striven to envelope his name, he still justified his public conduct to himself?’ He replied, with a solemnity and energy that startled both his friend and me, ‘ So thoroughly does my conscience approve of all I have done, that had I my life to commence again, I would be governed by the same principles ; and, therefore, should my country’s interests be compromised, these principles would call me forth in her defence, even though the obstacles were more numerous and appalling than in the times in which I suffered.’ I parted with him for ever, with the same sentiment of profound veneration that I would have felt had I left the threshold of a Fabricius, a Cincinnatus, or a Cato.” I considered him the object of the greatest interest in that city. I remember little else of our conversation. In 1833, the year previous to his decease, Mr. Moffat had the honour of a short letter from Mr. Rowan, in which he breathed a firm and consistent attachment to his original political principles. The HONOURABLSIEM ON BUTLER-brother of the late, and uncle of the Earl of Kilkenny-was the third son of the-tenth Viscount Lord Mountgarret.’ Along with Theobald Wolfe Tone, Mr. Butler was a zealous leader of the United Irishmen. Young, sanguine, and descended of an ancient and honourable family which claimed kindred with some of the highest and most influential branches of the Irish aristocracy, he at once became popular among those who sought a redress of grievances. He presided at the first meeting of the Dublin “ Society of United Irishmen,” and took an active interest in propagating the principles and extending the influence of these associations. That he contemplated other measures than such as might lead to a reform of the legislature cannot justly be imputed to him, as no direct communications with the Republicans of France were entered into until 1795. On the meeting of the Irish Parliament, early in March 1793, the Honourable Simon The writer waa probably misinformed as to his aga The ancestore of Nr. Rowan, aa well as himself, were Pmbyterians. The title of Earl of Kilkenny waa conferred on this branch of the noble family of Butler, 20th December 1793.
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