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populated places, where scarce any inhabitants exist, or for “ considerable cities and towns, where the elective franchise is “contined to a few. Nor is it less notorious, that the pro
pri 101s of the soil, where such depopulated boroughs once "sivod, have ared to usurp a power of selling seats to mem“bers in the present House of Commons, and by such unwar" rancable and corrupt means have those purchasers become il" legal representatives of the people.
“ Convinced by dear-bought experience of the many evils “ from hence arising, we have joined in every measure to oba “ tain redress, which has hitherio been pointed out to us by the “ complaining voice of an injured and insulted kingdom; but " unhappily, we have as yet found every attempt ineffectual " to restore the constitution to its pure and primitive principles.
" In vain did the noble assertors of liberty, composing the “ volunteer army of Ireland (arrayed and embodied at their own
expence, the unexampied protectors of their country against “ foreign foes and domestie usurpation), adjust by their dele
gates, agreeable to the desire of this nation, a more equal re
presentation, solemnly and deliberately agreed upon. In vain “ did the united voice of the electors of this kingdom, through
every free country, city, and borough, declare itself in favour " of such plan of reform, and instruct their several representa
same. In vain was an attempt made by “ the real friends of their country to introduce such plan into “ parliament, and obtain it the sanction of a law. The baneful “ influence of corruption and venality prevented any success; “and with equal folly and audacity, were the justifiable demands s of the people treated with ignominy and contempt.
“ Had the persons thus obtruded into the parliament, of this “ kingdom considered it with a due degree of justice and mo
deration, possibly the legality of their title to a share in its le. “gislature might have remained unexamined, or at least uncon“ troverted. But when usurpation is followed by injury and in“sult, that nation must be composed of slaves indeed, which
can tamely submit, without any exertion in its defence.
“ But the policy of our oppressors lost sight of this principle, “ and not content with the exercise of an authority unconstitu“ tionally derived, they have extended it to the entire destruc“tion of our most valuable rights, and our civil and commer
cial interests. “ Hence it is, that during the last session of parliament the
most wanton and reiterated acts of oppresion have been mul“ tiplied; personal liberty has been rendered insecure ; pro
tecting duties (adopted by every wise nation) refused ; our “ chartered rights infringed; the subject unconstitutionally and
« tives to support
" illegally imprisoned; the trial by jury in many instances sus. "spended; the freedom of the press (that grand palladium of all “our liberties) violated ; an infamous power given to expose " and restrain private correspondence; a large standing army “ kept up in the time of profound peace; that badge of slavery “ the stamp act, so disgracefully altered, as to make it a still
greater grievance, and taxation unnecessarily augmented, to " the general ruin of the nation. Such are the proceedings of a “ parliament, in which the members of the House of Commons “ do not really represent the people, but have become the repre“sentation of an overgrown and overbearing aristocracy, raised
upon the ruins of our rights and privileges; whereby the ori"ginal purpose of the democratic branch of the legislature is
defeated, the constitution effectually destroyed, and instead of “ being a shield against unnecessary taxation, the commons are “ rendered the hired instrument to pillage an already impover“ ished and distressed people.
“ Thus, fellow subjects and countrymen, is all confidence in
parliament, and the dignity thereof, destroyed, the trust of re“presentation betrayed, the instructions of the constituent body " of the people disobeyed, commercial interests negl cted, and
emig ation consequently promoted, to the great discouragement of population and the diminution of the national wealth;
and thus doth experience evince, that a House of Commons “ und r ihe undue influence of either of the two other branches " of the legislature, is ever ready to betray the most sacred "rights of the people ; and we find that parliaments chosen as “they now are, and con:inuing for eight years as they now do, bs will ever be composed for the most part of persons under the “guidance of particular noblemen and others, solely aiming at - and perpetually contending for the power and emoluments of li office.
“ Enjoying the advantages lately held out to us by our sister "66 kingdom, who with equal justice and magnanimity, unequivoScally acknowledged and restored to us our right of exclusive
legislative, and to maintain a strict amity with whom, is not “ less our inclination than our interest, we have to regret, that “ internal situation of our own country, that corruption and ve“ nality, which pervade our senate, and those defects already " pointed out in our legislature, which prevent our pursuing “ means, that under the free enjoyment of our constitution, and “ with the prudent direction of virtuous rulers, might render us b. a prosperous, happy, and united kingdom.
“ Failing in every other mode of redress, we have been now “ induced to approach the throne, by an humble petition, pray“ing the dissolution of the present parliament, and seeking " that relief from our most gracious sovereign, which has been « indignantly and intemperately refused by those, who assume “to be the delegated servants of the people. Nor do we doubt “ of success, if, meeting with the approbation of our fellow subjects (which can alone render effectual this salutary and necessary measure), we shall be supported by their warm and zealous co-operation in bringing those national grievances to the ear of majesty. “ Convinced of the necessity, we cannot however presume to point out any specific mode for a parliamentary reform in the
representation of the people: that, in which all are equally con" cerned, must receive from all their approbation and support. * We call upon you therefore, and thus conjure you, that in this
important work you join with us as fellow subjects, countrymen, and friends, as men embarked in the general cause, to remove a general calamity; and for this we propose, that five
persons be elected from each county, city, and great town in “ this kingdom, to meet in national congress at some convenient “ place in this city, on Monday, the 25th day of October
next, there to deliberate, digest and determine on such mea
sures, as may seem to them most conducive to re-establish - the constitution on a pure and permanent basis, and secure “ to the inhabitants of this kingdom, peace, liberty, and safety.
“ And whilst we thus contend, as far as in us lies, for our. “ constitutional rights and privileges, we recommend to your “ consideration the state of our suffering fellow subjects, the “ Roman Catholics of this kingdom, whose emancipation from " the restraints, under which they still labour, we consider not “ only as equitable, but essentially conducive to the general "union and prosperity of the kingdom.
Trusting with the most perfect confidence in your concur“rence and support, we entertain the strongest hopes of freeing “our country from that yoke of bondage, which domestic ene“ mies have thus imposed on it. The majesty of the people “ will then reassume its proper influence in the guidance of the “ state, and divine providence, knowing the justice of our cause, “ will graciously assist us in obtaining those rights, to which we " are entitled by the laws of God and nature.
“ Alex. Kırk PATRICK, juh. Sheriffs.”
“ BENJAMIN SMITH, And the following is a copy of the petition or remonstrance to his majesty, which was also agreed to by the aggregate meeting:
“ To the King's Most Excellent Majesty. “The humble Petition of the Freemen, Freeholders, and In
“ habitants of the City of Dublin. « Most GRACIOUS SOVEREIGN,
“ PERMIT us, your loyal and dutiful sub“jects, with every sentinfent of duty and attachment to your
majesty's person, family, and government, to approach the “ throne with the greatest respect and humility, to lay a national “ grievance of the highest importance to your crown and dignity, " and to the liberties and properties of your people of Ireland, 6 at your majesty's feet.
“ The grievance your distressed subjects thus humbly pre“ sume to lay before your majesty, is the present illegal and
inadequate representation of the people of this kingdom in
parliament; illegal, because the returns of members for bo“ roughs are not agreeable to the charters granted for that “ purpose by the crown; and inadequate, because there are as
many members returned for each of those boroughs, by a “ few voters, as are returned for any county or city in this king
“ Born in a country where your petitioners, from their ear“ liest infancy, were taught to believe the laws for their govern
ment passed through a House of Commons elected by the “ people, they conceived their liberties founded on the most “ firm basis; but finding laws passed, inimical as well to your “ majesty's crown as their rights (which are inseparable), they “ were led into a minute enquiry of the cause, and discovering " the same to proceed from the present insufficient mode of “ representation, and the long duration of parliament, which “ render even the few members, who are constitutionally elected, “ nearly independent of their constituents, they now most hum“ bly beg leave to inform your majesty, that men thus elected
cease to have any weight with your people.
“ It is to the grand cause of aristocratic influence (jealous, as - all inordinate power must be, of whatever may tend to shake “its establishment), and to the misrepresentations which have “ been transmitted to your majesty of your faithful subjects “ of Ireland, that we attribute many arbitrary and alarming proceedings in the last session of our parliament.
“ A bill for the more equal representation of the people “ (the desire of millions of your faithful subjects), has been " refused even a discussion in our parliament.
“ Protection has been denied to our infant trade and manu“ factures, which England thinks necessary to the maturity and “ vigour of hers.
" A violent attack has been made on the liberty of the press ; “ that supplement to the laws, and palladium of liberty, a terror “ only to tyrants, and apostates.
“ Alarming restrictions on the commercial and friendly com“munications of your majesty's subjects, have been imposed by “ the Post Office Act.
“ A general system of prodigality seems to have been adopted “ for the purpose of burdening our trade, and damping all spirit “ of industry: and emigrations consequently encouraged, are “now encreasing to an alarming degree.
“ A manifest infringement has been made on the ancient and “ sacred charter of the capital of this realm; and instead of the “ constitutional trial by jury, a novel tribunal instituted, from “ whose sentence there lies no appeal.
“ It is with infinite concern we are obliged to add, that your “majesty's ministers in this kingdom have assisted in all the “ measures, of which we thus humbly complain ; a circumstance “the more extraordinary, as your majesty has lately thought it
necessary to appeal to the British electors at large, against " the power of an aristocracy, and as your majesty's first minis
ter in England has virtuously declared himself friendly to the “principal measure, which has been here rejected (we mean a
more equal representation of the people) convinced, that'an “overbearing aristocracy is not less hostile to the liberties of “ the subject, than to the prerogative of the crown.
“We farther intreat your majesty's permission to condemn " that remnant of the penal code of laws, which still oppresses
our Roman Catholic fellow subjects; laws which tend to “ prohibit education and liberality, restrain certain privileges, " and to proscribe industry, love of liberty, and patriotism.
“ Deeply affected by these national calamities, we, your ma“ jesty's faithful and loyal subjects, the citizens of Dublin, do “ therefore most humbly beg leave to supplicate your majesty, " that you will be graciously pleased to exercise your royal " inclination to adopt with decision and effect, whatever your “ majesty shall collect to be the sense of the people.
“That your majesty may enjoy every felicity through a long " and glorious reign over loyal and happy subjects, and that your “ descendants may inherit your several dominions till time "shall be no more, is and always will be our sincere and fervent prayer.
“Signed by order,
“ ALEX. KIRK PATRICK,