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с нА Р. VI.
. Commissioners sent from Ireland; their characters
and designs. As soon as the king was proclaimed, Sir Charles Coote and his associates fent 'commissioners to his majesty, whom they called commissioners from the state; and a present of money from the fame, accompanied with all those professions of duty, which could be expected from the best of subjects.
These commissioners were the Lord Broghill, Sir Audley Mervin, Sir John Clotworthy, and several other persons of quality, much the greater number whereof? “had been always notorious for the disservice they had done the king. All these commissioners from the state had instructions, to which they were to conform, in desiring nothing from the king, but the settling of his own authority amongst them, the ordering the army, the reviving the execution of the laws, and settling the courts of justice, and such other particulars, as purely related to the public; and their public addresses were to this, and no other purpose. But then, to their private friends, and such as they desired to make their friends, most of them had many pretences of merit, and many expedients by which the king might reward them, and out of which they might be able liberally to gratify their patrons. And by these means, all who served the king were furnished with suits enough to make their fortunes, in which they presently engaged themselves, with very troublesome importunity to the king himself, and all others, who, they thought, had credit, or power to advance their desires."
Lord* Broghill appeared so very generous, and to be without the least pretence to any advantage to himself, that he quickly got himself believed ; and having
3 Id. ib.
i Clarendori's Life.
2. Id. ib.
free access to the king, by mingling apologies for what he had done, with promises of what he would do, he made himself so acceptable to his majesty, that he heard him willingly, because he made all things easy to be done and compassed ; and gave such assurances to the bed-chamber men, to help them to good fortunes in Ireland, which they had reason to despair of in England, that he wanted not their testimony on all occasions, nor their defence and vindication, when any thing was reflected upon to his disadvantage or reproach.”
The ground-work of the before-mentioned expedients, proposed by these commissioners for the public service of the kingdom, was the calling a new parliament, consisting only of protestant peers, and commoners; a general pardon, and indemnity to all the protestants ; and that nothing should be done to the prejudice of the adventurers or soldiers; or towards qualifying the Irish for recovering possession of their estates.
The Irish catholics excluded out of the general act of
T was apprehended that the act of oblivion, and general pardon, which the English parliament had been drawing up to be presented to the king at his landing, might be so extensive as to comprehend the Roman catholics of Ireland.' To prevent this, other agents were sent over by persons concerned in the new purchases ; all these attended the house of commons, suggesting continually, that they never could be secure in any parliament, that could be called in Ireland, if it did not exclude out of that act of general indemnity, all persons who had any hand in the rebellion ; under which notion, they comprehended promiscuously all
s Carte's Orm. vol. ii.
Id. ib. f. 205.
those of the Roman catholic religion, who had been fequestered or in arms.
Reports also were industriously spread by these agents that the Irish were ready to rise into a new rebellion. But this was a thing ? impossible to be conceived by any body that knew the miserable condition of these people. There were, indeed, some persons, who had been deprived of their estates, lo transported with the thoughts of regaining them upon the king's being proclaimed, that they endeavoured to take poffeffion of them immediately, without having recourse to those methods which the law prescribes, in case of being unlawfully dis-seized. These were chiefly of those Irish gentlemen, who had been found innocent, when in Cromwell's time, inquisition was made into the guilt of persons concerned in the rebellion ; and who were afterwards by him forced to quit their ancient eftates, and accept of other lands in Connaught or Clare in lieu thereof. They had suffered grievously in the exchange, and having been transplanted by an usurped power, easily imagined, they might warrantably re-enter upon their former possessions, and eject the intruders, as all in England did, whose estates had been taken from them by the ufurpers. Hence arose several riots and disturbances, which the convention at Dublin taking hold of, published on May the 20th, a declaration for preserving the peace, and quieting possessions; and the severe laws and ordinances lately made by the usurpers against the Irish, were hereupon put in execution. They were not allowed to go from one province to another, to transact their business; abundance of the estated men were imprisoned, all their letters to and from Dublin intercepted, and the gentry forbid to meet, and thereby deprived of the means of agreeing upon agents to take care of their interests, and of an opportunity to represent their grievances,”
CH A P. CH A P. VIII.
* Id. ib. f: 205
3 Id. ib. 4 Id. ib. f. 206. 3 Id. ib. vol. ii. f. 398.
A proclamation published against the Irish. THE
HE members of both houses of the English parliament thus clofely solicited by the convention agents, and too apt of themselves to believe the worst things that could be suggested concerning these people, joined in a representation to his majesty, as foon as he came to London,' “ that many of the natives of Ireland, who had been deeply guilty of the late rebellion, had broke out of late into new acts of force and violence, fome of them robbing, despoiling, and murdering several of the protestants there planted, and others by force entering upon, and disquieting the possessions of the adventurers, and foldiers, to the great and manifest disturbance of the English plantation ; and they desired that a proclamation might be issued to repress these attempts.
The king accordingly, on the 3d of June, 1660, issued a proclamation, wherein, taking notice, by the information of the lords and commons, that many of the natives of Ireland had broken out into the abovementioned acts of violence, and bloodshed, “ did, by the advice of faid lords and commons, hold it his duty to God, and the whole protestant interest, to command, publish and declare, that all Irish rebels, other than such as by articles had liberty to reside in his dominions, and had not forfeited the benefit thereof, that should resort to England, or Ireland, should be forthwith apprehended, and proceeded against as rebels and traitors; and that the adventurers, soldiers and others, who were on the ist of January last part, in possession of any
of the manors, castles, houses, or lands of any of the said Irish rebels, should not be disturbed in their possessions, till either legally evicted by due course of law, or till his
2 Id. ib.
majesty, by the advice of parliament, had taken further order therein."
This proclamation was not more injurious to many of the loyal Irish, whom it caused to be imprisoned, or driven out of both kingdoms, than it was fortunate to all those, whom the late ufurpers had left masters of their estates. For, by being thus preserved in the enjoyment of the freeholds, they were enabled to chuse representatives to their mind, in the ensuing parliament, who, they knew, would confirm and perpetuate their unjust possessions.
The Irish parliament. LORD Chancellor Eustace, Lord Broghill, now Earl of Orrery, and Sir Charles Coote, now also Earl of
a “ These two (new) earls,” says Clarendon, “ had been eminently against the king; but upon this turn, when all other powers were down, were eminently for him. But the king had not then power to chuse any against whom some as material objections might not be made. With them there were too many others, upon whom honours were conferred ; upon some, that they might do no harm, who were thereby enabled to do the more.” Clar. Life, vol. ii. p. 219.
Yet some writers weakly contend, that Orrery was all along, even while he served Cromwell, eminently, though secretly for him. Among the rest his biographer, Morrice, draws a ridiculous inference of such loyal intention in his lordship, from some of the worst and most obnoxious circumstances of his conduct, when most intimately connected with that wurper. “ When Lord Orrery,” says he, “ had given his word to be faithful to Cromwell, it would have been dishonourable in him not to keep it. He served the protector while he lived, honestly, disinterestedly, and zealously, and still with a view of bringing back the king; of which the design of marrying his majesty to Cromwell's daughter, was a strong inftance, and from the same motive did his lordship endeavour to persuade Cromwell to accept the title of king."
Mem, of E. Orrery, prefixed to his Lett. p.98.