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these assurances to all the Irish Roman Catholics." But this letter, it seems, did not reach his lordship till midsummer following ; and “ that delay,” says Carte," “ brought an irreparable mischief upon the king's service; the marquis's continued ignorance of the king's condition and pleasure, disabling him to refute the malicious reports raised, and the aspersions thrown on the king, for breach of faith, and for having abandoned and given up the Irish; so that as his excellency complains in his dispatches d by Lord Taaffe, “ the venom of the forgery had wrought very near a deadly effect, before the remedy came. Thus we fee, that before midsummer, 1650, the king's agreement with the Scots, and its ruinous consequences, were not only generally known in Ireland, but also had wrought an almost deadly effect upon the affections of that people towards him. And that their belief of it was founded, not on forgery or malicious reports, but on real matter of fact.
And so groundless is the pretence, that the Marquis of Ormond was surprized and puzzled at these proceedings of the bishops at James-town, as at an event, of which he was at a loss to divine the cause, that it is manifest, from a letter of his to Secretary Long, that he was fully apprised of them, and the motives that produced them, at least fourteen days before they were made public. For having mentioned, in that letter, an answer he had sent to a request of theirs, which he judged would be ill taken, he adds, “ which
2 Id. ib.
3 Cart. Collect. Orig. Pap. vol. ii. p. 443.
What Ormond himself says on this occasion, is, “ Inalmuch as for the want of encouragement of frequent dispatches, accompanied but with chearful promises, this people took themselves to be absolutely abandoned; nor was I able to refute malicious reports raised to that effect.” This letter of Ormond's is dated June 27th, 1650; and the king had consented to make void the peace with the Irish, and had signed both the covenants, national and folemn, before they suffered him to land in Scotland, which was on the 23d of that month. See Sir Edward Walker's Hist. Discours. Carte's Collect. of Orm. Papers.
answer, whether it will produce a direct declaration against me, and an excommunication of all those that fhall adhere to me, or not, is more than I am certain of, though I be told it will.” This letter is dated the 2d of September ; and the clergy's declaration and excommunication, were not published till the 15th of that month.
The clergy's proceedings at James-town, disapproved of
by the generality of the Irish catholics. THESE violent proceedings of the Irish clergy, though, it must be confessed, not unprovoked, were far from being approved of by the generality of the catholics of Ireland. “ All the fober professors of the catholic religion,” says Clarendon,' “ abhorred them; and most of the commissioners of trust, and the principal nobility, and most considerable gentry remained firm in their particular affection and duty to the king; and in their submission to the authority of his lieutenant, notwithstanding the excommunication. And not only the whole nobility and gentry of fortune and interest, fome very few of the latter excepted, but also many pious and learned men of the secular and regular clergy, and even some of the bishops, did abhor and abominate the proceedings of that congregation, and the doctrine they infused into the people; the same being disowned by some of those bishops, as being obtruded upon them by the major vote; or done by their procurators, without their assent or knowledge. And even others of them, who were present at the congregation, and subscribed the excommunica
* Hist. of the Irish Rebel.
* See lords justices orders concerning Roman catholic priests, vol. i. p. 248.
tion, disclaimed their having consented to it, though they were obliged to sign it for conformity."
It hath been mentioned above, that this congregation had annexed to their censure a restriction, by which the next general assembly was empowered to difpose of it in what manner they thought proper. That assembly met, by the Marquis of Ormond's appointment at Loughrea, on the 15th of November, 1650; “ it was very full, and (besides the clergy)," confifted of the principal nobility and gentry of fortune and interest in the kingdom. “ The bishops there present, for the removing of those jealousies, which were occasioned by their proceedings at James-town, declared and protested, of their own accord, that by their excommunication and declaration, they had no other aim but the preservation of their religion and people ; and that they did not purpose to make any encroachment upon his majesty's authority, or the liberty of their fellow subjects ; confessing that it did not belong to their jurisdiction fo to do."
When this assembly understood the Marquis of Or. mond's resolution to leave the kingdom, they fent four of their members,4 viz. the Lords Dillon and Clanrickard, and two others, to his lordship at Kilcolgan,' with an instrument bearing date the 7th of December; in which, after reciting what the bishops had protested in the assembly, concerning their excommunication and declaration, they added, “ that they, the lords spiritual and temporal, and the gentry met in that affembly, conceived, that there was no better foundation or ground for their union, than the holding to and obeying his majesty's authority, to which they owed and ought to pay all dutiful obedience. And they did thereby declare and proteft, that there was not any power in the lords fpiritual or temporal, gentry or people, clergy or laity of the kingdom, to alter or take away his majesty's authority; they holding that to
* Cart. Orn, vol.ii. Clarend. 3 Id. ib. fol. 139.
be the chief flower of the crown, and the support of the people's liberty; and they unanimously beseeched his excellency, in his hearty defire of the nation's preservation, to leave that authority with them in some perfon, faithful to his majesty, and acceptable to the nation; to which person, when he should be made known to them, they would not only afford all due obedience, but would also offer, and propose the best ways and means they could devise for the conservation of his majesty's rights, and the people's liberties and interests; and for the begetting a ready obedience in all places and persons, to his majesty's authority.”
In answer to this requeit, his excellency told them, 6 that he was resolved to make use speedily of the liberty the king had given him as to his own person; which he found was unacceptable to the people. Yet that, if they could propose to him any way how he could deposit the king's authority, in such a manner as that it might not be exposed to the same affronts it had received in him, and might be applied to the preserving of the people, and the recovery of the kingdom, he should readily agree to it; and he heartily wished they might receive that happiness by his absence, which they could not receive by his presence.”
His excellency was resolved to trust the royal authority in no body but the Earl of Clanrickard, the only person in the kingdom fit for so high a trust; and on the 7th of December aforesaid, after he had emþarked, he wrote to the assembly, “ that he had left . authority with his lordship, to govern the kingdom, provided their declaration were so far explained, as to give the marquis of Clanrickard full satisfaction, with regard to the expressions they made use of to declare their duty of obedience.”
An instrument was hereupon drawn up, wherein the assembly declared, that neither the lords. spiritual or temporal
, gentry or people, clergy or laity, had power to discharge the people from that due and perfect
6 Clarend. Carte.
7 Cart. Orm. vol. ij. fol. 137.
obedience to his majesty's authority vested in the Marquis of Clanrickard; and that, in case of any such act or endeavour, no persons should, or ought to be led thereby; but that, for their disobedience, on any such grounds, they were subject to the heavy censures and penalties of the laws of the land. But to this a proviso was added, that this obedience was not intended to be paid to any person, that should be appointed chief
govenor, who had joined in the covenant, or should violate the articles of the peace. Upon this declaration, Lord Clanrickard was prevailed upon to accept the government ; and Ormond departed for France.
CH A P.
The presbytery of Bangor's proceedings on the peace.
NONE censured the congregation at James-town more severely than the presbyterians in Ulster; yet. none had so little right to censure it. For that congre. gation only followed the example that was set them the
3 Id. ib.
• That proviso was expressed in these words. « And inasmuch as his majesty is at present in the hands of a presbyterian party of the Scots, who have declared themselves enemies to this nation, and vowed the extirpation of our religion, we de. clare, it is not hereby intended, to oblige ourselves to receive, obey, or observe any governor, that shall come unduly nominated by, or procured from his majesty, by reason of, or during his being in an unfree condition, that may raise a disturbance in the present government, established by his majesty's authority, or cause the violation of the articles of
Borl. Hift. of the Irish Rebel. fol. 339.
«« The bishop of Ferns, (fays Borlase) hitherto averse to the king's authority, more particularly importuned him (Clanrickard) in the name of the clergy, not to decline a charge, which could only preserve the king's power in that kingdom, and the nation from destruction, promising fo entire a submission and co-operation from the whole clergy, that his authority should not be disputed.” Irish Rebel. fol. 338.