home /

The Rebellion of 1798. facsimile documents - Sample

(Back to 1798 main page)

Facsimile 3. Map of the parish of Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow, forwarded to the government by a correspondent in the parish, 7 May 1798. Rebellion Papers 620/37/35.

The purpose of the map is explained in the unsigned letter which accompanies it:

Arthur O'Connor, a United Irish leader, had been arrested in England on 28 February, while on his way to France to discuss plans for an invasion.

The inclosed paper is a rough scetch of all the townlands in the parish of Baltinglass, and as the County Wicklow upon the late general return of men, arms & subscriptions, made about 2 months since, to furnish Mr. Arthur O'Conner with authoritative credentials, excelled in these points any other county Ireland in proportion to its extent; and as I have reasons to think the parish of Baltinglass, exceeded any other parish in that county in its number of United men, arms &c it may probably prove a satisfaction by and by to you, in case you should think proper to send any army into that quarter to compel the surrender of arms, to have a draft immediately taken of its extent and a few of the principal inhabitants; particularly such as have already suffered or such as have contributed to this horrible conspiracy & impending rebellion.

The map in question illustrates the state of a disturbed part of Ireland on the eve of the rebellion, as it appeared to a concerned loyalist. The United Irishmen of this area had clearly devoted most of their energies to building up their stock of weapons, by raiding the houses of yeomen and others who had arms in their possession. However there is also a case of cattle being maimed, a practice normally associated with agrarian secret societies such as The Whiteboys rather than with the United Irishmen, as well as references to the theft of sheep and liquor. The cutting down of trees was almost certainly done to provide handles for pikes.