Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 34.djvu/439

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

M'CABE, WILLIAM PUTNAM (1776?–1821), United Irishman, was the son of Thomas M'Cabe, watchmaker and cotton manufacturer, of Belfast, commonly known as ‘the Irish slave,’ because, his shop being pillaged by the soldiery in March 1793, on account of his sympathy with the French revolution, he appended the words ‘an Irish slave’ to his name on his signboard. Born at Vicinage, near Belfast, m'Cabe was named Putnam after an American general, a distant kinsman. After a wild boyhood he was sent to Manchester to be trained for a manufacturer. On returning home, his father having become intimate with Tone, he joined the United Irishmen, went about the country as an organiser, was one of Lord Edward Fitzgerald's bodyguard in Dublin, and was once arrested, but pretending to be a Scottish weaver, was released. He joined the French invaders under Humbert, on whose capitulation he escaped to Wales. He afterwards went to Edinburgh, where he studied mechanics and chemistry, and in 1801 married at Glasgow Elizabeth, widow of Captain M'Neil, and sister of Sir A. M. Lockhart of Lee. Assuming the pseudonym of Lee, for his name had been inserted in the Irish Banishment Act, he made his way to France, and in 1803 started a cotton mill at Hulme, near Rouen. Napoleon encouraged this enterprise by visiting the mill and giving him four thousand francs. About 1806 M'Cabe sold the concern to Waddington, and invested 4,750l. of the proceeds in a mortgage on Arthur O'Connor's Irish estates. He paid repeated visits to England and Ireland on private or political business, and is said to have had hair-breadth escapes from arrest. In 1814, however, he was apprehended at Dublin and was sent on to London, but a letter to Sir Robert Peel, in which he dwelt on his shattered health, and protested that his sole purpose was to recover property for the sake of his daughter, led to his release on condition of never returning. M'Cabe was shipped to Portugal, but was soon back again in London. He was again arrested at Belfast in 1817, and at Glasgow in 1819. The impunity or lenity he enjoyed excited the distrust of some of the Irish refugees in Paris, who believed him to be in the pay of the English government. His remaining energies were devoted to prolonged litigation both in the French and Irish courts with O'Connor, who was eventually ordered to refund 135,000 francs. A widower since 1806, m'Cabe died in Paris 6 Jan. 1821, leaving to his daughter about 7,000l. He had been throughout life a protestant, but is said to have died a catholic.

[Madden's United Irishmen, 3rd ser. i. 296, Dublin, 1846; Diary of Lord Colchester, London, 1861; Memoirs of Miles Byrne, Paris, 1863.]

J. G. A.

MACCAGHWELL, HUGH (1571–1626), sometimes known as Aodh mac aingil, Roman catholic archbishop of Armagh, was born at Saul in co. Down. His clan, of which the name is generally latinised Cavellus, were originally seated at Clogher in co. Tyrone. Much of his youth was spent in the Isle of Man, where he studied diligently, and whence Hugh O'Neill brought him as tutor to his sons, Henry and Hugh. He was probably that ‘younger scholar’ seen by Sir John Harington when he visited Tyrone in October 1599 (Nugæ Antiquæ, i. 249; Bagwell, iii. 345). He accompanied Henry O'Neill to Spain, and was with him there when Queen Elizabeth died (Moryson, pt. ii. bk. iii. chap. ii.) At Salamanca he became thoroughly versed in the civil and canon law, and afterwards took the vows of an Observant Franciscan. He was for several years in great repute there as a reader in theology. In 1616, soon after its foundation, he was sent to the Irish Franciscan College of St. Anthony of Padua at Louvain, and was more than once guardian there. Colgan and Patrick Fleming were among his pupils, and the mortuary-book records that he toiled long and hard to set the institution on a firm basis (Spicilegium Ossoriense, iii. 51). In 1620 he represented his province at the chapter-general of the order held in Spain. After this he was made definitor-general, and was employed in the reformation of the convent at Paris. In 1623 he went to Rome and became reader in theology at the convent of Ara Cœli. An election to the generalship of the Franciscan order was held in 1524, and MacCaghwell was second at the poll. Having a great reputation among the natives of Ulster, and a very good manner in dealing with them, he was strongly recommended by Wadding for the Irish primacy (ib. i. 139). Peter Lombard, who died early in 1625, had never seen his see, and his vicar-general, Rothe of Ossory, was in no better case. Wadding's recommendation was strongly supported by John O'Neill, titular earl of Tyrone, and brother of MacCaghwell's old pupils, who remarked that neither Lombard nor Rothe had such connections among the Ulster gentry as would enable them to lie hidden and to do their duty in times of persecution (ib. i. 141). Urban VIII accordingly provided MacCaghwell to Armagh on 27 April 1626. Consecration followed on 7 June, and the pall was given on the 22nd (Brady, i. 224). The new archbishop pre-