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an independent state, that is a nation with a separate and independent sovereignty of its own. The union of Scotland and England, like that of Austria and Hungary, was the union of two independent crowns devolving by the accident of descent upon the same individual-capable of being separated (as the crowns of Hanover and England recently were) by a difference in the laws of the two countries. The connexion of England and Ireland was of a very different character. Ireland was always admitted to be one of the dominions of the British Crown; no declaration of Irish independence ever disputed this principle. Whatever rights " the land” or “the realm” of Ireland possessed it was inseparably united to the Imperial Crown of England.
Up to the reign of Henry VIII., the King of England was Lord of Ireland in right of his English Crown. In the reign of that monarch, by a statute passed in the year 1542, the English monarch was declared to be. King of Ireland. The title of king was substituted for that of lord, and the "land" of Ireland became “the realm,” but the dignity of King of Ireland was declared to be united and bound to the Imperial Crown of the realm of England. The most ardent advocate of Irish nationality never disputed this. No one ever claimed for an Irish Parliament a right to dispose of the Irish Crown. When in 1692 the Irish Parliament recognized the sovereignty of William and Mary, their recognition was carefully rested on the fact that the Kingdom of Ireland " was annexed and united to the Imperial Crown of England,” and was depending upon and belonging and for ever united to the same." This inseparable dependence of the Crown of Ireland upon that of England was generally expressed by the maxim that “ whoever was King de facto in England, was King de jure in Ireland."* At all events, whatever authority could rightfully
* This principle was not disputed in the Regency debates of 1789. The English Parliament, in the first incapacity of George III., proceeded to
dispose of the English Crown disposed at the same time of its Irish appendage. When the English Parliament in 1702, by the Act of Settlement excluded from the succession to the Crown the elder branches of the line of Charles I., and settled the Crown upon the descendants of the Princess Sophia, no corresponding statute was passed by the Irish Parliament. The Irish Parliament in this instance, as in that of William and Mary, distinctly recognized the right of English authority to dispose of the Irish Crown. A statute was passed reciting the English Act of Succession, and visiting with the penalties of high treason any one who opposed the succession as directed by that Act. Another statute prescribed the oath of abjuration, binding those who took it to defend the succession as limited by the English statute. But neither of these Irish Statutes attempted to confirm the English Act, which was treated as settling, by its own authority, the succession to the Irish as well as the English Crown. It was admitted that the English Parliament had the right to dispose of the Crown of England, and in exercising that right they disposed, of necessity, of the Irish Crown.
confer the Regency upon the Prince of Wales, with limited powers. The Irish Parliament adopted the course for which Mr. Fox and the Opposition contended in the English House of Commons, and proceeded to call on him, by address, to assume all the powers of the Crown.
But in all these debates the principle of the inseparability of the Crown of Ireland from that of England could not be, and never was denied. The leaders of the Irish Parliament thought that a Regency was a matter which derived its authority from Parliament, and was, therefore, within the province of the Parliament of either country. The dispute was happily ended by the recovery of the King. But those who will think it worth while to study the Regency debates of the Irish House of Commons, will not fail to see that there were elements of action and principles unsettled, which, at all events, tended to endanger the connexion of the countries under one crown. It was this Regency dispute which first suggested the Union. It was, at all events, made one of its pretexts. So strongly was this felt by the patriot party that, before the Union, a bill was brought in by them to enact that whoever was Regent de facto in England, should be Regent de jure in Ireland. Lord Castlereagh and the Government opposed it.
In the repeal discussions of 1843 Mr. O'Connell answered an objection, drawn from the Regency dispute, by suggesting that such an enactment could easily be passed.
The title of our gracious Sovereign rests, as did that of her ancestor George III., on an English Act of Parliament excluding the legitimate heirs of the Stuarts, and calling the House of Hanover to the English throne. If an Irish Act of Parliament were necessary to confirm that exclusion, it might be contended that, notwithstanding the implied recognition by the Irish Legislature of the English Statute, the Ex-Duke of Modena would be now the rightful Sovereign of Ireland.* Her Majesty's right to reign over us is undoubted, because the Crown of Ireland was inseparably appended to that Imperial Crown of England, which undoubtedly devolved on her by virtue of an English Act of Parliament settling the succession to the English Crown.
* Although foreign to the purposes of this tract, I am unwilling to allow this allusion to a matter, which is happily only one of historical research, to pass without explanation.
Upon the death of the Cardinal of York, the grandson of James II., in 1807, the male line of descent from Charles I. became extinct. The only representative of Charles I. was the King of Sardinia, who was descended from Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, the only daughter of Charles I.
But for the acts of exclusion and settlement he would have been beyond all question the legitimate heir to the throne of England. But the act of settlement excluded the descendants of Charles I., who were clearly next in succession, and transferred the crown to the collateral branch of the Royal Family who were descended from the Princess Sophia, the only daughter of Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, the daughter of James I.
In 1830, Charles Felix, King of Sardinia, died, leaving four daughters. The Salic Law regulated the succession to his crown, and it passed to a distant relative. the Prince of Carrignan. The heirship of the Stuarts devolved upon his eldest daughter, who married the Duke of Modena, after her death upon her son. Strange that the ill-fortunes of the Stuarts appeared to pursue their last representative, and the Ex-Duke is excluded by a popular revolution from two far distant sovereignties to which he is the legitimate beir.
The curious in such matters will find the whole pedigree of Charles Felix in a tract on the “German Empire,” published in the second volume
The results of this dependence carried with them consequences of far more importance than a mere point of national honour. The power of making peace and war belonged to the Imperial Crown of England ---so did the power of sending ambassadors to foreign states-of making treaties with foreign countries. To the same crown belonged exclusively the right of acquiring dominions and dependencies. All the colonies of the empire were the colonies of England. Ireland could neither declare war or make peace—Ireland had no ambassadors, and no colonies. The army and the navy were the army and the navy of the English Crown. In all these matters the King of England acted with the advice of the English Privy Council, and through ministers responsible only to the English Parliament.
That such were the constitutional relations of the two countries, no Irish jurist or patriot ever denied. But, as a consequence of this dependence of the Irish Crown the English Parliament further claimed the power of binding Ireland by English statutes, as beyond all question they had a right to pass laws for Canada and Jamaica and the other dominions of the English Crown. This was the great constitutional question of Charles Butler's Works, Note 7, page 23 ; (see also “ History of Italy," by Isaac Butt, Vol. ii., page 375.)
The clearest illustration of the position of Ireland before the Union is found in the fact that no one ever ventured to say, or could say, that the assent of the Irish Parliament was constitutionally necessary to give validity to the alteration in the descent of the Irish Crown.
It is, perhaps, a small matter to observe, but no one ever thought of a separate coronation of the sovereign of Ireland. The demand of such a separate coronation was one of the most prized requireinents of Hungarian nationality.
which was so long agitated between the two countries, and which was finally set at rest in 1782. It is not necessary to refer to the history of a struggle with which every Irishman ought to be familiar. Enough to say that the English Parliament finally renounced the claim of making laws for Ireland, and in the eighteen years which intervened between 1782 and 1800 no law had any force in this country except that which received the sanction of the Irish Parliament.
The English Parliament had in fact attempted very little interference with the internal affairs of Ireland. All the statutes that moulded and constituted the criminal and civil laws of the country were either Acts of the Irish Parliament or English statutes adopted in Ireland by an Irish Act. Some statutes of the reign of William III., imposing oaths to be taken in Ireland, and one or two Acts of the reign of Anne disposing of forfeited estates, and making provisions against Popery-very superfluous enactments in the face of the laws enacted by the Irish Parliament itself—were almost the only interference in the internal administration of Irish affairs. The real and great usurpations of the, English Parliament were commercial ones. They were chiefly directed against Irish manufactures, especially the woollen. Acts were passed by the English Parliament prohibiting the export of Irish manufactures from Irish ports. These Acts were plainly violations of Ireland's Parliamentary independence. So were the Acts which attempted beyond the limits of the British dominions to restrict the operations of Irish trade. It was against these that the Volunteers asserted their independence, and the practical boon that was won for the Irish nation was the right of the Parliament of Ireland to control our own harbours and to regulate our own trade.
Of course the trade of Ireland was subject to the interference which England could exercise by her dominion over the colonies and dependencies of the Imperial Crown. A law