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castle having' been selected as the place for their meetings, and affected to entertain fears from the presence of the castle guard, and the vicinity of the powder magazine. The triumphant sensations of this partj were much abated, and its animosity imbittered by the discovery, that the other party had been not less successful in the elections: it now appeared that the Protestant members present,* amounted to one hundred and twenty-five, while the Roman Catholics were but one hundred and one. The house of peers was composed of sixteen barons, twenty-five Protestant bishops, five viscounts, and four earls.
The first steps of the popular party answered their expectations, and promised a full and final interruption to the measures of the government. But their conduct was by far too rash and intemperate, and brought a speedy reaction, which terminated in the peaceable and orderly prosecution of the measures designed by the government.
On the 18th of May they met by appointment of the lord-deputy Chichester, and on their admission to the chamber were fortunately disarmed. Admission was also providentially refused to the numerous intruders, who came prepared to take whatever part they could in the proceedings. When assembled, the lord-deputy directed them to elect a speaker. This was the point seized upon for the trial of strength, or rather for the purpose of raising confusion. The popular party began by objecting, that several of the members present could have no right to vote, as their election had been illegal: on this point there began a confused and stormy altercation: the objections were but specious, and need not be recited. It was at length assented to, that the election of a speaker should precede all other questions: and then commenced another scene of still fiercer tumult. The candidates proposed were, Sir John Davis, the attorney-general, and Sir John Everard, a most respectable gentleman, who had been chiefjustice, but, declining to take the oaths required by government, had retired upon a liberal pension. After much clamour on both sides, Sir Oliver St John reminded the house, that the custom on a division, was for the affirmative party to leave the chamber, and the negative to remain; he therefore proposed, that those who supported Davis, should follow himself to the lobby. They had no sooner retired, than one of the other party got up and made a speech, urging the most exciting motives of their party, in language to which a respectable Roman Catholic prelate has given the sanction of a report. "They are gone, ill betide them; and they have left us, as it is our right to be, in possession of this house. Wherefore seeing that we have prospered thus far, we ought thankfully to pursue the course which God seems to have pointed out, by setting up here that holy faith, for which, if necessary, we should be ready to die. We are encouraged in this by the example of our fathers and kinsmen, who, fighting for the Catholic faith, obtained an honourable death and a glorious immortality. Should it be our lot so to perish, we shall be at least their equals in renown; but if we avoid their indiscretions, higher fame and happier fortune will attend us. Nor is there reason to apprehend that in so doing we shall trespass aught against the
* Six members are mentioned as absent.
king's majesty; seeing that the same should he his especial care, and that nothing more is necessary, either for his soul's salvation or for the righteous ruling of his kingdom. Come then, let us maintain that religion for which it is honourable to fight and seemly to die, and to exalt which is the highest glory of man. First of all, let us choose for ourselves a speaker and a leader."*
The impulse was caught and obeyed—the party proceeded to elect Everard, and to place him in the chair. The other party when they entered, insisted upon his leaving the chair; they were answered, that in leaving the room they had abandoned their right of election. This quibble could have no weight; Everard was desired to leave the chair: he sat still. The other party resolved to maintain the election of the majority, placed Sir John Davis in Everard's lap, and a scene of the most disgraceful and turbulent contention followed. Everard still refusing to leave the chair, was forced from it by the Treasurer, the Master of the Ordnance and others, while Sir Daniel O'Brien, and Sir William Buck, strove to keep him in his seat. After a short struggle, Sir John Davies was put in possession, and the whole of the popular party withdrew. The proceedings which followed must be as briefly told: the seceding members were repeatedly summoned to attend, but continued obstinate against all solicitation or remonstrance. They formed an association to obtain redress for their assumed grievances: these entirely related to the place, and present constitution of the parliament, and to the validity of the elections; they protested against all legislative acts, which should be carried during their own secession, and strongly intimated threats of insurrectionary resistance, To resist this menace, the force of government was as nothing—the seceders commanded, even in their own train, a force more than equal to any the lord-deputy could oppose to them, and there wanted but a word to raise the country into rebellion. Chichester prudently averted the storm, which he was unprepared to resist, by a prorogation.
The scene of contest was thus removed to the English court. Thither the parties now prepared to carry their complaints; the seceders had desired permission to send their deputies, and received in return, a peremptory summons to answer before the king for their irregular conduct. Eight of the seceding peers, with sixteen commoners, and a numerous train of lawyers, were deputed, to plead their cause and to enforce the objects of their party. The cost of this deputation was to be defrayed by a tax of five shillings on every gentleman, two shillings for a yeoman, and fourpence for a peasant. Against this tax Chichester directed a proclamation, which had the desired effect of preventing its collection.
Meanwhile, the delegates had reached London, and had been received by king James with every demonstration of frank kindness and condescension. This was consonant both with his natural love of justice, and his disposition both to exercise and display his attainments. It was his object to draw out the opinions of these men who were to be considered as fairly representing the spirit and designs of their party, and in his attempt to execute this design, he found an ample
* Phelan, from Burke's Hibernia Dominicana.
opportunity for the exercise of his best faculties. In repeated conferences, wherein he artfully suppressed all appearance of a determinate purpose, he led the far less wily Irishmen into the expression of their opinions on every subject. All caution was gradually set aside by the seeming' frankness and real art of the king, until they were betrayed at length by his apparent ease and unconsciousness of design, to the maintenance of tenets which prudence at least should have suppressed. Among other questions, he asked, "whether the heresy of a prince, otherwise sovereign and absolute, forfeited his title and justified the pope's interference against him?"* Some felt their ground and were silent; but some, heated perhaps by the course of a conversation which was adapted to warm their party feelings, answered, that in their opinion it did. The consequence was not precisely that which might have been expected from his previous deportment, the king forgot his own purpose—overlooking the real importance of such an admission—his personal resentment asserted itself. Luttrell and Talbot, whose language had been most peremptory, and who had allowed themselves to be betrayed by the heat of argument into an indecorous display of warmth, were committed one to the Tower and the other to the Fleet prison. Talbot was fined £10,000 by the Star Chamber. At the same time some private letters of Sir P. Barnwell, containing language to the same effect, had been intercepted, and were submitted to the council. He was, in consequence, compelled to retract his opinions, by a written form dictated by the council.^ These intervening incidents were calculated to throw some light upon the complaints of the delegates, but it is most probable that the help of such a comment was unnecessary.
The report was brought in, and on the 21 st of April, the king gave judgment before the council, and in presence of all the complainants. We may here complete our summary of this Ijansaction, with some extracts from James's speech:—
"These gentlemen will not deny that I have lent them my own ear, and have showed both patience and a desire to understand their cause at full: it resteth now that we make a good conclusion, after so long a debate.
"I promised to these noblemen and gentlemen of the recusant party of parliament, justice with favour; let them see whether I have performed my promise. Sure I am, but for performance of promise, I should not have given such a patient hearing, nor made such a curious search into the causes of their complaints, neither should I make such a conclusion as I am now like to make of this business.
"In the search (though I doubted not of the honour and justice of the lord-deputy's government) yet I dealt not with him as with my servant—not as with one the most unreprovable governor that ever was in that kingdom (as some of yourselves have acknowledged him to be to myself) but as with a party. But after the commissioners
* Phelan. t H»id.
had heard all that could be alleged, I found him, indeed, a faithful servant by their certificate, which was conclusio in ctmsa.
"Now, if I should do you justice, I should take you at your word, lay together your offer in your letters, and the articles which my attorney laid open to you; then shall you see your case.
"For you made offer, that if you failed to prove any one point of that which was contained in your complaint, you would renounce my favour in all: yet have you scarce proved one word true; but on tie other side, almost every point hath been proved contrary.
"Of fourteen returns, whereof you complain, but two have been proved false; and in the government nothing hath been proved faulty, except you would have the kingdom of Ireland like the kingdom of heaven.
"To the first, an unusual favour was offered you by my deputy; for he sent for you, and advised you to consider what laws were fit to he propounded for that commonwealth, and offered to concur with you. Your answer should have been humble thanks on your knees; but you neglected that favour, and answered by your agent, in the name of the rest, That you would first be made acquainted with such bills, as the deputy and council there had resolved to transmit,
"Then I sent commissions to examine, as well the by, as main business which you first presented to be the cause of your appealiug to me; but instead of thanks for that favour, there came yet more new complaints, which because the council here have already answered, I will not speak of.
"Now, if you look back to your own miscarriage and my lenity, you shall find that your carriage hath been most undutiful -and unreasonable, and in the next degree to treason, and that you have nothing to fly to but to my grace.
"The lower house, here, in England, doth stand upon its privileges as much as any council in Christendom, yet if such a difference had risen there, they would have gone on with my service, notwithstanding, and not have broken up their assembly upon it: you complain of fourteen false returns, are there not many more complained of in this parliament, yet they do not forsake the house for it.
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"Now for your complaints touching parliament matters, I find no more amiss in that parliament, than in the best parliament in the world. Escapes, and faults of sheriffs, there may be, yet not them proved, or if it had been proved, no cause to stay the parliament.; all might have been set right by an ordinary course of tryal, to which I must refer them. But you complain of the new boroughs, therein I would fain feel your pulse, for yet I find not where the shoe wrings.
"For first you question the power of the king, whether he may lawfully make them? And then you question the wisdom of the king and his council, in that you say, there are too many made. It was never before heard, that any good subject did dispute the king's power in this point. What is it to you whether I make many or few boroughs; my council may consider the fitness, if I require; but what if I made forty noblemen, and four hundred boroughs, the more the merrier, the fewer the better chear.
"But this complaint, as you made it, was preposterous; for in contending for a committee before you agreed of a speaker, did put the plough before the horse, so as it went untowardly like your Irish ploughs. But because the eye of the master maketh the horse fat, I have used my own eyes in taking a view of those boroughs, and have taken a list of them all. God is my judge, I find the new boroughs except one or two, to be as good as the old; comparing Irish boroughs new, with Irish boroughs old, (for I will not speak of the boroughs of other countries,) and yet, besides the necessity of making them, like to encrease and grow better daily; besides, I find but few erected in each county, and in many counties but one borough only, and those erected in fit places, near forts or passages for the safety of the country: methinks you, that seek the good of that kingdom, should be glad of it.
"I have caused London, also, to erect boroughs there, and when they are thoroughly planted will be a great security to that part of the kingdom; therefore you quarrel with that which may bring peace to .the country. For the persons returned out of these boroughs, you complain they have no residence; if you had said they had no interest, it had been somewhat, but most interest in the kingdom, et qui habent interesse, are like to be as careful as you for the weal thereof.
." I seek not mendicata svffragia, such boroughs as have been made, since the summons are wiped away at one word for this time; I have tryed that and done you fair play, but you that are of a contrary Teligion, must not look to be the only law-makers; you that are but half subjects, should have but half privilege; you that have an .eye to me one way, and to the pope another way—the pope is your 'father in spiritualibus, and I in temporalibus only, and so have your bodies torn one way, and your souls drawn another; you that send your children to the seminaries of treason, strive henceforth to become full subjects, that you may have cor unam, and viam nnam, .and then I shall respect you alike; but your Irish priests teach you such grounds of doctrine, as you cannot follow them with a safe conscience, but you must cast off your loyalty to your king.
"Touching the grievances whereof you have complained, I am loath to spend breath on them, if you charge the inferior ministers of the .country, all countries are subject to such grievances; but if you charge the deputy and state nihil probatur, indeed I hear not from you, but from others, there is one thing grievous to the country, that notwithstanding composition established in the provinces, the governors there do send out their purveyors, who take up their achates, and other provision upon the country, if this had been complained of to the .deputy or to me, it had been reformed: the deputy himself at Dublin, .doth not grieve the country with any such burden.
"Another thing there is that grieveth the people, which is that in the country, where there is half peace and half war; the sheriffs and soldiers in their passage do commit many extortions.