Sir Boyle Roche belonged to the ancient family of Do la Ruqse of Fermoy ; he was created a baronet in 1782, and was married to the eldest daughter of Sir James Caldwell, but had no heir. He used to account for lack of progeny by saying “ that it washereditary in his family to have no children.” Another of his blunders was made when speaking of the fish hawkers. “ They go down to Ringsend,” he observed, “buy the herrings for half no-’ thing, and sell them for twice as much.” A letter supposed to have been written by Sir Boyle Roche during the Irish rebellion of ’9B, gives an amusing collection of his various blunders. Perhaps he never put quite so many on paper at a time ; .but hi§ peculiar turn for “bulls’’ is hero sliqwn at one view. Thg letter was first printed in the ( Kerry Magazine,” now out jf print. Dear Sir,—Having now a little peace and quiet, I sit down to inform you of the bustle and confusion wo are in from the bloodthirsty rebels, many of whom are now, thank God, killed and dispersed. We are in a pretty mess ; can got nothing to eat, and no wine to drink except whisky. When we sit down to dinner, we are obliged to keep both hands armed. Whilst I write this letter I have my sword in one hand and my pistol in the other. I concluded frofflthe beginning that this would be the eJSjfrancl 'I am right, for it is not half over Afrgfesent there are: such goings-on that everything is at a standstill. I should havt«ns\sered your letter a fortnight ago, butAßy received it this morning—indeed, lumily a mail arrives safe without being robbed. No longer ago than yesterday the mail coach from Dublin was robbed near this town ; the bags had been very judiciously left behind, for fear of accidents, and by great good-luck there was nobody in the coach except two outside passengers, who bad
nothing for the thieves to take. Last Thursday an alarm was given that a gang of rebels in full retreat from Drogheda, were under the French standard ; but they had no cofors nor any drums except bagpipes. Immediately every man in the place, including women and children, ran out to meet them. We soon found our force a great deal too little, and were far too near to think of retreating. Death was in every face ; and to it we went By the time half out party were to he all alive. Forturebels had no guns except and pikes ; and we had plenty.,! muskets and ammunition. We put them all to the sword, and not a soul of them escaped, except some that were droy'ffjdin an adjoining bog. In fact, in a short time nothing was heard but silence. Their uniforms were all different—-chiefly green. After the action was over, we went to rummage their camp. All we found was a few pikes without heads, a parcel of empty bottles filled with water, and a bundle of blank French commissions filled up with Irish names. Troops are now now stationed round, which exactly squares with my ideas of security.—Adieu; I have only time to add that I am yours in haste, B. R. P.S. —If you do not receive this, of course it must have miscarried ; therefore I beg you write and let me know. To the above we may add a bull Sir Boyle is credited with. He met a friend one day whom he upraided for not visiting him. The friend replied tliat Sir Bojde had never invited him. Sir Boyle answered promptly “Why then, the next time you come within half-a-mile of the house, I beg you stay there. ” It was Sir Boyle, who, speaking of the immorality of his age, said children who could neither walk nor talk were to be seen running about cursing and swearing.
Permanent link to this item
IRISH -BULLS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 68, 2 March 1880
IRISH -BULLS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 68, 2 March 1880
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.