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miles, and by God's blessing, added to his endeavours, got safe to the town, and delivered the general's message to the Governor.
“That, after he had so done, and refreshed himself, but barely for one day, by the command of Colonel Baker, the then Governor, he returned to the general with the state of the garrison, and took water at London-Derry, and swam back three miles to the place where he had left his clothes.
“That, when he arrived there, he found his clothes taken away, by which he imagined himself to be discovered; but, however, he was resolved to carry back to the general the Governor's letters, which were tied in a bladder in his hair, and accordingly travelled naked three miles ; but being discovered and pursued by the enemy, he was forced to take shelter in a wood, where the horse could not follow him, and passed through the wood with such hardships and difficulty, that he was torn by the briars, till he was gore
blood. “THAT, having passed the woods, which brought him to the water-side, he was met by a party of the enemy's dragoons, one of which broke the said Roch's jaw-bone with a halbert, before he could get into the water, and after he was in the water, shot at him several times, and wounded him thrice, in the arm, breast, and shoulder, and offered him £10,000 in case he would deliver to them his letters ; but the said Roch's zeal for his religion, his King, and his country was such, that he chose to die in the water (which he did expect to be his fate) rather than betray the trust reposed in him.
“That, after all these difficulties, by God's providence he got back to London-Derry, and by signals delivered him by the general before he left the fleet, gave the general notice from time to time from the steeple of Derry, how long the town could hold out.
“That, King William and Queen Mary, out of a sense of his sufferings and services, did grant to him forfeited estates in Ireland, to a very considerable value; but the same have been decreed from him by the late trustees, and he never received from the said grants more than £180 12s. 5d., as by a report of the said trustees may appear.
“That, in the year 1704, setting forth his case to the Parliament, they were pleased in compassion to grant him an Act for £3,269 7s. 7d. to be issued out of the forfeitures in Ireland, which did but barely re-imburse him the expense he was out of pocket; so that the petitioner has yet received nothing of the reward promised him for his services.
“THAT, the funds upon which the said money was given proving deficient, and after the expense of four years' time and a great deal of money, he has only received £1,148 9s 0 d., and no more can be expected from that fund.
“That he has spent all the small fortune he had of his own, as well as that he had by his wife, and both contracted great debts, which have very much reduced him; and, unless the honourable House of Commons will afford him some relief he must never expect to return to his native country, for which he has done such signal services, but leave his wife and children exposed to the greatest hardships."
George Roch, Esq., now of Woodbine Hill, worthily represents his very ancient and lordly house.
THE PREHEN TRAGEDY
This story, taken from the page of real life, could hardly be made darker or more improbable by any infusion of the ordinary elements of romance. Indeed, the actual features of it, such as we have them from undoubted records, require rather to be softened than exaggerated, that the reader may not turn away in disgust from a tale that seems almost too atrocivus for belief. Some criminals may be invested with a poetic colouring, and thus reconciled in a degree to our imaginations
but our hero is a thoroughly prosaic ruffian-he belongs to the school of George Barnwell, and is utterly incapable of being elevated except at the expense of everything like truth.
John Macnaghton was descended from a Scotch family, which is supposed to have come over with King William the Third to Carrickfergus, and to have afterwards settled at Benvarden, in the county of Antrim, a place situated at the northeast extremity of Ireland, about six miles from Coleraine, and two from Ballimony. They were highly respectable, and enjoyed a considerable hereditary estate. His father was a magistrate for Antrim, his mother was a daughter of Henry MacManus, an alderman of Londonderry; his uncle also was a magistrate, and a cornet on half-pay, at the time of Thurot's landing, upon which occasion he was the first to appear in arms against the invaders, at the head of two hundred stout militia, whom he had animated with his own spirit.
The time of John Macnaghton's birth cannot be precisely ascertained, but it was somewhere about the year 1722. When he was only six years old, his father died; and this, which, in any case, is a great misfortune, was doubly so with a boy of his disposition, who, even while at school, exhibited a strong propensity to gambling, and was moreover a coward, a fault of all others the least likely to find indulgence amongst his country
When only eighteen years of age, he was challenged by a schoolfellow-but, wanting the perve to fight, he was horsewhipped and fled the