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In O&ober, 1746, as he passed through the Castleyard on the memorial day of the Irish rebellion in 1641, he met two ladies, and a girl of about eight years of age, who, stepping on a little before them, turned about sud. denly, and, with uplifted hands and horror in her countenance, exclaimed, Are there any of those bloody papists in Dublin? This incident, which to a different hearer would be laughable, filled the doctor with anxious reflections. He immediately inferred that the child's terror proceeded from the impression made on her mind, by the sermon preached that day in Christ-church, whence those ladies proceeded ; and having procured a copy of the sermon, he found that his surmise was well founded. In a spirit very different from that of the preacher, he immediately, on returning to his house, fat down to give some check to the hatred and asperity revived in these anniversary invectives, from feats set apart for the propagation of truth and benevolence among men. His tract on this subject he put in the form of a Dialogue, wherein one of the interlocutors shews the unfairness, and absurdity also, of charging to any religion whatever, the crimes which that religion condemns, but which some of its professors may, at times, be guilty of. After such general reflections, he exposes the unfortunate causes which led to the insurrection in 1641, and the fatal consequences' which followed. Three kingdoms were then in a flame, and the moderation and good sense of a few could not stop the conflagration : though it might in the beginning be easily quenched by those in power, had not their private views and self-interest biassed them to supply the fuel. The people of our days are no further concerned in such evils, than to remind them of never repeating them. The cause removed, the effects should not be active, and be active, solely, from suggestions of the imagination. To this the adversary to that interlocutor made answer, that though the evils complained of, have
long long ceased, yet that among papists the principle remains, and must justify every legal penalty they are exposed to : He converted supposition, into a fact which he could not prove. With no better argument, the Dialogue was attacked in a voluminous pamphlet, by Mr. Walter Harris, a gentleman unversed in the philosophy of history, and flagrantly abusive, but fit enough for his office of a compiler. Dr. Curry replied in a book intitled Historical Memoirs; a work well received by the public, and from which Mr. Brooke had his materials for his Trial of the Roman Catholics.
Still indefatigable in the cause of his country, he enlarged his plan, in a work intitled, An Historical and Critical Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland, printed in 1775. Therein he gives a general view of the times from Henry II. and commences his details with the reign of Queen Elizabeth, ending with the settlement under King William. This is the present work, now greatly enlarged from the doctor's manuscripts, with new matter taken from parliamentary journals, state acts, and other authentic documents; to which he has added, The State of the Catholics of Ireland, from the above period under King William to the Relaxation of the Poo pery Laws in 1778. The author dying two years after, deprived us of having this valuable work as perfect as if published under his own inspection.
I shall now observe to the reader, that the inten. tion of the author in the following work was solely to instruct, not to misrepresent, to conciliate, not to irritate; and, in the execution of such a design, it was incumbent on him, to remove the false grounds of a torrent of invectives, which have borne down repeat. edly on our good sense, and which, if not stopped in its course, may sweep away before it some practicable schemes for public prosperity. If some are so prejudic. ed as to reject several facts herein related, because they
were taught to reject them early in life; yet they will take the less offence at our author, as his materials are chiefly taken from those very authorities on which the invectives we have mentioned, are said to be founded; and consequently can admit of no dispute concerning their credibility. No man of the present age (catholic or protestant) is concerned in the conduct of those of any former age, otherwise than by contrasting the causes and effects in the one with those in the other, and inAtructing us thereby to put a proper estimate on our present happiness, and to remove any ill impression the public may still retain, in regard to times so very different from our own. This is placing a mirror before the reader, wherein beauties and deformities are fairly reflected, and whereby deductions may be made, for improving our minds and manners, by the justness of the representation.
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C. O'CONO R.
BELANAGAR, May 3, 1786.
XIII. Tirone fues for pardon and obtains it.
PAGL. VIJI. The king thanks the Irish for their supply, but orders
the penal laws to be put in force against them. 98 IX, Some account of the ecclefiaftical courts at that junc
ture in Ireland. - - X. The patience and submision of the natives. - 104
108 II. A free gift raised for the king, chiefly by the natives,
for which they were rewarded by a new perse-
113 III. The free gift or contribution continued for the service of the government.
116 IV. Lord Wentworth continues the contribution. ..
V. Lord Deputy Wentworth arrives in Ireland. VI. Lord Wentworth's manner of modelling the Irish - parliament. • - - -
125 VII. Some transactions of this parliament. .. VIII. The legality of several elections questioned, but the
motion over-ruled. - - IX. The remonftrance of the Irish commons to the deputy,
concerning the promised graces. - - 135 X. The commons require an answer to their remon
XI. A convocation of the clergy of Ireland.
Β ο ο κ ΙV.
of Galway. - - - - -
considered. - - - -
X. The remonstrance of grievances vindicated -
ring up the Irish to this insurrection,
153 156 159
166 169 171 172