Deposition of Anthony Stephens

Citation: TCD, 1641 Depositions Project, online transcript January 1970
[] accessed Monday 25th of September 2017 02:51 PM

Dublin Core

Date: 1646-06-25
Identifier: 830041r040


1641 Deposition Item Type Metadata

County: Galway & Roscommon
Deposition Type: Dublin Original
Nature of Deposition: Arson, Death, Multiple Killing, Robbery, Stripping, Words, Cannibalism
Commissioners: Henry Jones, William Aldrich
Deposition Transcription:

fol. 41r

Anthony Stephens of Abbey Boile in the County of Roscoman husbandman sworne & examined deposeth & saith That when the present Rebellion began att Abbey Boile aforesaid to vizt about the begining of November 1641 he this deponent (being then absent in the north of Ireland) was deprived robbed & dispoiled at the place Abbey Boile aforesaid of howsholdstuff Cattle horses & the possession value & proffitts of 2 tenements in Abbey Boile aforesaid of howsholdstuff Cattle horses & the possession value & proffitts of 2 tenements in Abbey Boile to his losse & damage of Cl li. ster And saith that euer since the Rebellion began he hath beene a souldier for his Maiestie against the Rebells & hath done service hitherto vnder the Comand of the honorable Collonell Sir John Borlase knighte & staid in his honors owne company att Colraine from before the begining of the Rebellion vntill about Ester 1643 & was in divers battailes and skirmishes against the Rebells in divers parts of the north of Ireland, and amongst other places & battailes was one of the English souldiers at Garvagh that gave a noteable defeate to some of the รด Neills & other Rebells to the number of 600, whoe layd in Ambush there & endeavoured to surprize the English & Scottish souldjers (being not above 200) as they were about about to be exercised, but it pleased god, (after that these Rebells were sharpely charged,) That they all ran away into the woodes & about threescore of them were slaine in the place The principall Comanders of the Brittish at that time being Captain Mathewes Captain Skates and & Ensigne Tildesley, And as to murthers & Cruelties Comitted by the Rebellious Irish vpon and against the persons & estates of the Brittish in those parts They were soe many in number, & soe fowle & wicked in nature that this deponent is not able to expresse them yet

fol. 41v

<A:> soe farr as he can Remember saith That he oftentimes after the Rebellion began martching out vpon service with others of the Brittish souldiers to seuerall howses Castles townes & places within the Counties of Londonderry and Antrim did there behold and see divers howses & townes wherein were very great numbers of the persons of murthered Brittish protestants throwne vpon heapes & stript naked both men women and children, & saw the very doggs feed vpon some of their Carcasses as they lay there vnburied Many wounded most barbarously wounded massacred & some of them hewed to peeces Inasmuch as the whole Cuntry thereabouts wer was quite depopulated ouerrun & spoiled of the brittish other then those that gott to the towne of Colraine & Londonderry, whose numbers soe pestered those townes. That a most lamentable mortality fell amongst them at Colraine aforesaid Insoemuch as this deponent hath seene about one hundred & fortie of them buried at one time in Colraine in one deepe holle or pitt, & layd soe thick & closse together as he may well compare it to the makeing or packing vp of herrings which mortality contynued soe long there that he is perswaded there died noe fewer within 3 months after the begining of the Rebellion within the said towne of Colraine then seven or Eight thowand of the Brittish nation & kynd, The towne being not able to keepe or any way to releeve them, & the miserie was such and soe wofull that those whoe survived were <B.> scarse able to bury the Dead, And to add more misery affliction vnto them they were for the most part still beleguered and hemned in on euery side by the Rebells Soe

fol. 42r

Soe as when the souldjers (pinched with intollerable want) would desperately sally & adventure out to fetch releef prey or forage few of them & somtymes none of them could returne alive but were from tyme to tyme cutt off & slaine by the wicked & cruell Irish, And many of those that staid in the towne meere hungar ( of this deponents knowledg ) enforced to eate & feed vpon their owne children & others & those that could gett the flesh of doggs Catts horses raw hides ratts or such Like course food, would account themselues happie [ ] This misery want & distresse contynueing for six months or thereabouts, Vntill it pleased god & the state of Dublin to send vnto their releefe a shipp Comanded by the worthy Captaine Hall, who then and there made way uno them with his ordinance slaughterd some of the Rebells drive away the rest, furnished the towne with victualls & 2 peece of ordinance, and recouered for them their former fishing in the River of the Bann, Howbeit before that releefe came this deponent hath too often beene a miserable & sorrowfull ey witnesse of the Calamities sadd accidents & miseries aforesaid, which he thincketh to bee such and soe direfull that seldome or never hath the like happened either in this Kingdome or in any [ ] other part of Crissendome, & yet all this occasioned by this detestable & horrid Rebellion, of the Irish papists: Wherein those papists were in the begining soe cuning & deceiptfull that att the first they only fell vpon the English, and told and perswaded the Scotts. that their order Command &

fol. 42v

Resolution was only to spoile & roote out the English & to take all the English meanes & goodes: But that they neither had direction nor a mynd to hinder or trouble or meddle with the Scotts at all but they t o be all as one and Which subtill perswasion Complying & agreeing as it seemeth with the Covetousnes of the Scotts; they therefore suffered the Irish to spoile & distroy the English wholly & neither preserved nor any way rescued them for any thing the deponent could perceive, But the Irish having by this meanes either killd or quite subdued all the English, & from them gotten Armes & Amunition, tooke such advantage thereof & of the seemeing security of the Scotts, that att length they fell vpon the Scotts, & vsed them with the like or more cruelty, Robbing and pillageing all that they could meete witha{ } & massacreing & murthering great numbers of them Soe as in deed none kept their lives in either of the said Counties of Antrim & Londonderry, but those that fled to Colraine or the Citty of Londonderry, or to som{e} other English or Scottish garrison thereabouts, (which in deed were but a very fewe). And this deponent further saith that he hath bin often tould by one George(nowe a souldier in Dublin (whoe is an honest English man, & whose report the deponent beleeveth) to be true) Tha{t} amongst other most execrable & barbarous cruelties of the Irish Rebellious papists They would familierly (when they mett either with any English or Scottish woman grea{t} with child) ripp vp their bellies & take out their children & pricking them vpon their pyke would then & there hould them on high & shake them vpon the pointe of their said p{ykes}

fol. 43r

pykes, & sollace & much triumphe and reioyce themselues to see them sprawle & tosse, Calling vpon their bloudy companions to see the yong English doggs & the Bitches their mothers, in that posture & Condition And the said George alsoe told him That divers of those bloody murtherers did often bragg boast of & vowe vnto him how they hadd putt divers of the English & Scotts into Churches & other places, & there setting guards vpon the dores and windowes hadd sett all those Churches & places on fier, & there in & ther e with burned to ashes those English & Scottish, by eightscore or nynscore at a tyme, which Cruelties they averred to have exercised in or about the County of Armaghe with this further Relacion from those bragging and wicked villaines that their preists & friers att Masse & other at their sermons would tell them exhort & advise them to vse all the Crueltie they could both to the English and Scotts, & would comend them most, whose Acts were the [r] most bloudie & cruell, Telling them withall that they should be saints in heaven for doeing such service or to that effecte: And this deponent hath bin often told, (and beleeveth nothing more) That the Rebells in seuerall parts in the north of Ireland and especially towards Armagh, would force & drive divers great numbers of the English vpon great long bridges, & placeing their Irish souldiers vpon both ends thereof, that none

fol. 43v

none should escape, would and did then force & throw them into the water & there if any should swimme or come ashore they would thrust them in againe with their pikes or knock them in the heads soe as they would drowne them all, And it is & hath bin most frequently & credibly reported, and alsoe generally & full beleeved, That in the places where such drowneings & cruelties have bin comitted There have bin often heard often the cryes of Revenge Reveng & other gastley strang & formidable expressions by spiritts which hath much as he is perswaded affrighted the hearers yet little amated or struck remorse into the harts or Consciences of the offenders
<Dominus Cl W: A: >
The mark of the said Anthony
[mark] Stephens
Jur xxvto Junij 1646
Coram Hen: Clogher.
Will: Aldrich


fol. 44r



fol. 44v


Anthony Stephens
Jur 25o Junij 1646
Intw Cf: ns
1 Nov: 1641


Deponent Fullname: Anthony Stephens
Deponent Gender: Male
Deponent Occupation: Husbandman
Deponent County of Residence: Roscommon
Mentioned Non-Deponent Fullnames: John Borlase, Captain Mathewes, Captain Skates, Ensigne Tildesley, * , George *
Mentioned Non-Deponent Roles: Mentioned, Mentioned, Mentioned, Mentioned, Rebel, Witness