"He wondered from which window Hamilton Rowan had thrown his hat on the ha-ha and had there been flowerbeds at that time under the windows."

Archibald Hamilton Rowan (1751-1834) was a radical and founder member of the Society of United Irishmen, who sought to establish a republic, along French Revolutionary lines, in Ireland. He is thought to have escaped arrest by throwing his hat on to the ha-ha (garden trench that serves in place of a fence), to make the English soldiers believe he had escaped in one direction while he ran off in another.