There was widespread
approval throughout Waterford city when the corporation decided to grant
the freedom of the city to Lord Roberts but the award was also
controversial among what were called 'advanced ' nationalists. The mayor
opf the city, Alderman Power received the following letter objecting to
the honour being bestowed on a 'judicial murderer.' The following is the
text of the letter. The letter contains a charge that, if true, is most
damaging to Roberts' reputation.
Dublin, September 2, 1893
5 Moore Street
Some years ago the British Government in India sent a
person with a French name into Afghanistan, although the natives object
to have any White Resident in their country. When this British spy would
not leave their country they killed him ,and 7 natives who were his
servants. Then the Government sent Genl Roberts into the country to
chastise these wild people. The Genl held some trials on the natives.
The result was that some were found guilty and a batch of 200, and other
lots of lesser numbers, were ordered to be tied together and have
Inflammable Oil poured on and set fire to, which was duly done.
is the man that Waterford is about to present the freedom of her city.
Source: Waterford City
Archives, ref. no., P6/5