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A NEWLY-INVENTED GENERAL PAR
The extracts from this act are longer, perhaps, than are consistent with the nature of this work :
Saint Bartholomew last past; and yet nevertheless all other fines, as well finis pro licentio concordandi, as other set, taxed, estreated or entered afore the said feast of Saint Bartholomew; and also all issues and amerciaments as well real as others, within any liberties or without, being set, taxed, estreated or entered afore the said feast of Saint Bartholomew, and which severally or particularly extend to or under the summ of six pounds, and not above, whether they be estreated or not estreated, or whether they be turned into debt or not turned into debt, and not being totted, levied or recovered by any sheriffe, under sheriffe, minister or other officer, to or for the king's majestie's use or behoof, before the last day of this present session of Parliament, shall be freely, clearly and plainly pardoned and discharged against the king's majestie, his heyres and successours for ever, by force of this present act of free pardon; and yet nevertheless, all estreats of such fines, issues and amerciaments as be now pardoned by this act, and be already estreated forth of the court of exchequer, and be remaining in the hand of the sheriffe, under sheriffe and bayliffe for collecting of the same fines, issues and amerciaments, shall, upon the return of the same estreats, be orderly charged and delivered by scrowls into the office of the pipe in the court of exchequer, as heretofore hath been accustomed, to the intent that thereupon order may be taken that his majesty may be truly answered in all fines, issues and amerciaments not by this act pardoned, and which any sheriffe, under sheriffe, bayliffe or other officer or minister hath received or ought to answer for by force or colour of any such estreat, processe or precept to him or them made for the levying thereof: and yet notwithstanding all and every sheriffe and sheriffes and other accomptants, upon his or their petition or petitions, to be made for the allowance of any such fines, issues and amerciaments as, by this act pardoned, shall have all and every such his and their petition allowed in his or their accompt and accompts, without paying any fee or reward to any officer, clerk or other
but we trust they will be excused; as no abridgment could do justice to the subject, or to the grand object we have in view, which is to open the eyes of every reader, who is not wilfully blind, to the undeviating fraud, falsehood, and
minister, for the making, entering or allowing of any such petition, any usage or custome to the contrary notwithstanding.
47. “ And also excepted out of this pardon all goods, chattels, debts, actions and suites already forfeited, or whereof any right or title is accrued and growen to the king's majestie by reason of any outlawry, and whereof the king's majestie, by his highness's letters patent, hath, before the last day of this present session of Parliament, made any grant, covenant or proviso to any person or persons. 48.
And also excepted out of this pardon all such persons as be and remain still attainted or condemned, and not already pardoned, of or for any rebellion or levying of warre, or of or for any conspiracy of any rebellion or levying of warre, within this realm, or in any other the king's dominions.
49. “And also excepted all false forging and counterfeiting of any untrue certificates.
50.“ And also excepted all false forging and counterfeiting of any commission or commissions to inquire of any lands, tenements or hereditaments : or return of any commission or commissions obtained or gotten of any court or courts to inquire of any lands, tenements or other things whatsoever; and all and all manner of falsifying of any particular, or of any bill or bills signed by his majestie after the ingrossing thereof, and before the passing of the same unto the great seal.
51. “ Provided also, and be it enacted by the authority of this present Parliament, that this act of general pardon shall not in any wise extend to any person outlawed upon any writ of capias ad satisfaciendum, until such time as the person so outlawed shall satisfie, or otherwise agree with the party at whose suit the same person was so outlawed or condemned."29
294 Statutes, 327.
imposture, that run through the whole body of the Anglo-Hibernian histories of Ireland, as penned by those writers who have pandered to the passions, the prejudices, and the grinding tyranny of the Protestant ascendency,” and contaminated and corrupted the history of Ireland to an extent unequalled in that of any other portion of the terraqueous globe. This object we feel proudly confident we have accomplished, with such of our readers as have brought to the perusal of this work, a mind disposed to hail the appearance of holy Truth, in whatsoever form she may appear.
We hope the reader will bear in remembrance the deceptious statement of this act, as he peruses some of the subsequent chapters, in which, from the nature of the subjects, the detection of imposture is rendered difficult, and, in fact, would be impossible, if the stupidity of the projectors were not on a par with their wicked
Had their ingenuity amounted to a twentieth part of their fraud, they might have contrived tales so plausible as to bid defiance to detection : but fortunately their fabrications are compacted together with so much grossness and incoherence, that it requires but moderate abilities to expose them, in all their naked deformity, to the contempt and loathing of every liberal mind. Had those tales, however, been devised with talents equal to the wickedness of the contrivers, and furnished no internal evidence to
condemn them, even in that case they would merit rejection; as we have established, in the historians who narrate them, a total disregard of truth, and the strongest and most palpable facts, in every instance which admitted of producing evidence. This act of “ gracious, general, and free pardon,” would, if it stood alone, be sufficient to decide the question. It is recorded in the Statute-Book ; open to the inspection of all the writers who have treated on it; and detection, like the well-known “sword of Damocles,” hung over the head of imposture or sophistication. Yet, notwithstanding all these strong circumstances, we see that its real character is as diametrically opposite to the views given of it, as the pitchy darkness of the lowest regions of Erebus to the starry canopy of heaven. And will not every man of mind ask, whạt dependence, in points involved in doubt, obscurity, or mystery, such as plots and conspiracies, can be placed on writers who poison the pure streams of history, in such plain cases as this, and so many others which we have exhibited to the reader?
The age of forgery, plots, and perjury.
IN every age of the world, some peculiar folly or wickedness has prevailed, which distinguished it from those which preceded, as well as from those which followed, with nearly as much accuracy as the varied features of the face distinguish one man from another.
Were we called upon to fix the peculiar feature of the seventeenth century, in the wide range of the British dominions, we should, without hesitation, pronounce it to have been the age of fora gery, perjury, and fabricated plots, contrived for the purpose of overwhelming the innocent in ruin, and enriching malefactors with their spoils.
It is hardly credible, at the present day, when those dire passions that actuated so large a portion of the community in England and Ireland, during that period, have wholly subsided, and are now almost inconceivable, what a number of these contrivances were employed; how regularly they succeeded each other; what mischievous consequences they produced; and yet how excessively stupid the most of them were. Many of them, which were devoured with greedy ears by