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horses, had footmen, outriders,1 &c. An excellent charity sermon was preached by the Rev. Henry Gubbins, in aid of the Female Protestant Orphan School, to which their Graces most generously contributed—nothing!
Addresses were presented to his Grace by the Corporation and public bodies, and the Duke was invited by the Corporation to a public banquet on the 4th of October; his staff consisting of Earl of March, Lord Loftus, Sir Charles Vernon, Knight Chamberlain, A.D.C.s., were likewise presented with the freedom of the city. The banquet was provided by Mr. Swinburne, a hotel-keeper, who had many relatives that rose to distinction in the British army, and was given on a grand scale.'
There was a record at the previous Cork Assizes about the salmon weir. A petition for the more equal distribution of the taxation and the improvement of the city and liberties was agreed to by the Corporation, and presented to Parliament by Colonel Vereker.
The artillery barracks were completed this year (1807) and made capable of containing a brigade of artillery and 5000 stand of arms.
In this year (1807) Surgeon Sylvester OHalloran, the Historian died. He was a man of genius; a great lover of the antiquities of his country, and an accomplished gentleman who moved in the first society, where his conversation was esteemed and appreciated. His History of Ireland is a work of great merit, when we consider the comparatively slender materials which were at this period available to the searcher after information concerning the affairs of our country. The death of O'Halloran created deep regret in the literary world.3 He had been attached to the county infirmary as surgeon until the time of his death.
The Chamber of Commerce began to initiate several movements for the development of industrial pursuits in the county as well as in the city of Limerick; it gave premiums for the produce of linen, and for yarn and flax sold in the market; it built, or contributed to build, at an expenditure of some thousands of pounds, a Linen Hall4 in Carr-street, which has long since fallen away from the purposes to which it was originally dedicated; it erected Scutching mills at Abington and Bruff, in the County of Limerick, which mills are also numbered among the things of the past; it imported seed wheat,barley and oats, in order to enable the farmer to enjoy the best means of sowing his land; it aided the poor by purchasing provisions and selling them out, in times of distress, at reduced rates j it promoted gigantic works in after years, such as the Wellesley Bridge and Docks, &c, of which we shall have to speak in their proper place. In the contests with the Corporation it sustained the Independent party.
1 It was on this occasion that his Excellency conferred knighthood on the Mayor, who then became Sir Richard Harte, and on the Sheriff, Sir Christopher Marrett. There was no city or town in Ireland visited by the Duke of Richmond in which he did not confer knighthood ono ne or sometimes on two or three persons, just as fancy suggested.
• The bill presented by Mr. Swinburne to the Corporation, for the banquet to the Duke of Richmond was, on the 25th of October, laid before the council and ordered to be paid: it amounted to £183 9s. M. Messrs. Sneyd, French and Barton's bill for two dozen and eight bottles of champagne and carriage, at £8 10s. per dozen (!) amounting to £23 12s. id. was discharged— and a sum of £17 17s. Id. to F. Wilkinson, sq., "being Lacey's account for drag, ropes, re purchased to draw their grace* into the city," as the exuberant loyalty of the citizens would not permit them to enter in the ordinary way, was also ordered to be paid by the liberal corporators t. The bankers and merchants entertained His Excellency, &c. on the 5th of October.
'He resided in the house, in Nicholas-street, near the Corporation Alms House.
4 Long since disused as such; and in 1865, after having been let to several persons in trade in succession, greatly dilapidated.
On the 4th of June, 1812, Gilbert Keith of the 90th Regiment, on duty as sentinel at the King's Stores, was fired at—his cap was perforated and his head grazed. Robert Thompson of the same regiment was fired at while on duty at said stores on the 26th of September. Thompson was wounded, and his left leg was amputated. On the night of the 10th October, same year, Patrick Loughlan, of the Oolway Militia, while on duty at the Commissariat Stores, in Clarestreet, was fired at and wounded in the hand. Large rewards were offered for the discovery of the perpetrators of these outrages.
The country continued very much disturbed at this period; and on the seventh of August in the same year (1807), several gentlemen who were returning from a party given by Lady Clare, at Mount Shannon, were robbed and ill used by a gang of depredators, who also fired at the right Bev. Dr. Warburton, the newly appointed Protestant Bishop of Limerick, and wounded him with two slugs in the arm and in the ear.
A new trade had been going on for some time before this year: a quarry was opened in Altamira in 1805, and in that and in succeeding years, to 1807, and again to 1809, mill stones of limestone, to the amount of 200 were quarried, and exported from Limerick to England for the purpose of grinding the materials that compose gunpowder, required to supply the army abroad.
It was on the 1st of September in the same year that the foundation was laid of the County of Limerick Court-house. Colonel Prcndergast Smyth got £500 for the ground up to low water mark. The building, at the time was deemed very handsome; its greatest length externally, 121 feet; its greatest breadth ditto, 94 feet; Crown Court and Records Court, 50 feet by 30 feet each; a magnificent Grand Jury Boom unrivalled in prospect, 41 feet by 25, and 15 feet high; a very ample hall, 84 feet by 26, and 30 feet high; and every useful and convenient offices, &c. ; the architects, Messrs. Nicholas and William Harmon, brothers, were natives of the County of Limerick—-the cost of the entire, without the portico, was £13,000. In the north front are 18 windows, and a brake with six Doric pilasters which support an entablature surmounted by an Ionic balustrade of limestone—the first of the kind erected in the city. It was opened for business at summer assizes, July 17th, 1809. • The portico, which consists of four massive columns of limestone of the Doric order and supports an entablature and a pediment, was not finished till July, 1814. A gallery was erected at the bottom of the Crown Court, over the entrance, in the Spring and Summer of 1818.
'The following inscription was written by a gentleman, and intended to be put up in some place most approved of;—
.ffiDIFICAT.S FUERUNT ILffi CURI.fi
ANNIS 48vo. & 49no.
GEORGII TERTII REGIS,
Opertx autem sunt justitia)
Usui IGmo. die calendarum Sextilis.
Thomas A. ODELL,
NICHO. & GUUELMO HANNAN,
The year was rendered remarkable by the fact that hostilities with America broke out in June, in consequence of an attack made by H. M. S. Leopard, 50 guns, Captain Humphries, on the Chesapeak, American frigate, Commodore Barron, off the Cape of Virginia. It appears that the Captain of the Leopard acted under the orders of his superior officer, Captain Berkley.
August 8th.—General Vallanccv, the great antiquarian and celebrated Irish scholar, died in Dublin.
August 13th.—New church at Drehidtarsna, near Adare, consecrated.
In the same year the Chamber of Commerce rented from the Corporation, the tolls and customs of the City of Limerick, for one year, for the sum of £1500.
On the 13th of February, 1809, the freedom of the city was conferred in a "heart-of-oak box" ornamented with gold, on Captain Michael Seymour, a citizen, Commander of the King's ship Amethyst, for his brilliant exploit in conquering the French ship Thetis with a superior force. On the 17th of the same month, in the Corporation, not yet at rest, another petition was agreed to against the assessment clauses of the Act 33rd Geo. III., and the same reasons were advanced as those already set forth in a petition, in which reference is made to the St. Michael's Commissioners' Act which had passed the year before, and a call was made for the extension of the Act to the old parts of the city, and for an additional bridge down the river Shannon, as Thomond bridge had now become inconvenient and insufficient for the traffic.1
For the first time for a long series of years, a bell now tolled in the cupola attached to the north gable end of the house inhabited by the friars of the order of St. Francis in Newgate-lane. During some years before this, Daniel O'Connell, afterwards the illustrious patriot and liberator of his country, had been going the Munster Circuit as a young barrister and visiting Limerick. Indeed his first professional advocacy in favour of prisoners was made in Limerick in 1798, when the late Mr. James Blackwell, then gaoler of the city gaol, was in the habit of retaining his services for persons about to be tried. O'Connell now formed the acquaintance of an energetic and stirring Franciscan, Father Dan. Hogan,8 who is yet remembered by some of the old citizens, as a priest who had won the affections of all classes, and who was popular even with the Protestant party. Consulting as to how the Penal Laws could best and most safely be evaded, as to bells in chapels, and steeples in Catholic places of worship, O'Connell hit on an expedient, informing Father Hogan that there was no penal statute against erecting a cupola at the gable of his house, and putting a bell there if he chose. The good friar took the hint; masons and carpenters were set at work; the cupola was made; the bell was placed in its position; its sounds were heard, and the citizens awoke in amazement and joy, not unmixed with a nervous apprehension of the consequences, when on the 1st of June, 1809, they heard the iron tongue sound for the first time within the memory of the existing generation, to call them to Mass. It was a most remarkable day in the annals of Limerick.
'On the 17th May, an agreement was entered into between the Mayor and Corporation on the one part, and John Meade Thomas, Esq. on the other, for the erection of a main guard-house. On the same day the Mayor was granted a sum of £61 13s. 2^(1 for clothing the Mayor's Sergeants!! and XG 16s. Cd. were given for three tons of coal-, a sum of j£200 was given on the 25th of July, to the Recorder for his "trouble," &c, in preparing a long and voluminous bill. A sum of £()7 2s. Od. was voted to Redmond Walsh and Michael Fitzgerald for repairing the piers of Thomond Bridge; and a small sum was granted for repair of Baal's Bridge.
* Father Dan. Hogan's portrait in full cauliflower wig, the fashion of the day, was admirably painted by Frederick Prussia Plowman, an able artist who visited Limerick.
September 0th.—Great illuminations and rejoicings in the city, consequent on Wellington's victory at Salamanca, and the capture of Madrid.
The harvest this year superabundant, beyond anything of the kind ever remembered, and the happiest continuance of fine weather to save it.
August A fire engine for St. Michael's Parish, imported by John Norris Russell, Esq.
October 11th.—The Earl of Limerick visited this city after an absence of three years, and was drawn into town from Rich Hill, attended by a meeting of the most respectable citizens, and the several guilds of the trades, with their banners and formalities.
Wakefield who had travelled through Ireland at this time, writes as follows, in his great work on the Political and Statistical state of the country:—
"1810-'11-'12.—Much of the wealth that Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Waterford now possess has been acquired by Roman Catholics engaged in commercial pursuits. * * * * The Roman Catholic
grazier obtains his opulence by remaining quietly at home. * *
He invests his property in land, regardless of the income which he is to derive from it, his sole object is its security, and while within sight he considers it safe."
It is certain that at this period the wealth diffused not only among the Catholic agricultural class, but among traders and merchants, nearly all of whom had grown rich in spite of every opposition, was enormous, and contrasted with the Cromwellian and Wnliamite names that figure even in the list of "the fifteen Corporations,"—the progress of Catholics and of Catholicity, and of Milesian and Celtic families, is something altogether marvellous. Only a few years before, it was penal for Catholics to aim at a respectable position in society—they had no standing place in the land of their fathers. Their names were blotted out from the local records; they had nothing to which to look; they were helots, hewers of wood and drawers of water for cruel and unrelenting taskmasters. They now, according to Wakefield, had in their hands the greater portion of the wealth, the mercantile enterprise, &C. ; they were becoming educated; colleges and schools were springing up around them and for them in every direction; while their oppressors were fighting among themselves, or endeavouring to stave off the evil day by every means imaginable, well knowing that the reign of corruption must one day or other be brought to an end. Persecution had done its worst. Elizabeth, Cromwell, William, Anne, and the 1st and 2nd Georges had endeavoured to exterminate the Catholics from the soil of Ireland; but they did not succeed.
November 13th.- Anchors and chains landed at the Custom House quay for the bark Fanny, In the service of the Government, to be moored in the pool of Limerick, commanded by Lieut. Philip Wright; this vessel came into harbour the winter before in distress; was sold, on account of the insurers, by auction, to Mr. Martin Creagh and purchased of him by Captain Robert O'Brien, regulating officer of this port, and fitted up as a receiving ship for volunteers and Impressed men belonging to H. M's navy; the moorings laid down December 8th, 9th. They were the first of the kind ever let go in the river Shannon. Lieutenant Wright was superseded by Lieutenant Smyth, October, 1813—his three years of service having expired. The vessel was sold on the 9th of June, 1814. The anchors and mooring chains taken up out of the bed of the river, on the 10th and 11th of June by a part of the crew of the Virago, gun brig, and carried back to England.
STATE OF THE CATHOLIC CAUSE.—A CATHOLIC COLLEGE FOB LIMERICK diocese. —AGITATION OF THE VETO.—NOBLE CONDUCT OF THE CATHOLIC BISHOP AND
CLEEGY OF LIMEEICK, &C—STATE OF THE COUNTY OF LIMERICK.
WELLINGTON. —- DB. MILNER. — O'Connell. — GALLANT LIMERICK MEN ABROAD. ROCHE. DE LACY. GOUGH—-PROGRESS OF EVENTS, &C. &C.
We have to go back a little to take a retrospect of the conduct and of the struggles of the Catholics of Limerick, soon after the series of events with which our preceding chapter has been so largely occupied. The rebellion of '98, the attempt of Emmett in 1803, the insolent bigotry and exclusive monopoly of the Orange party inside and outside the Corporation, the decay of trade, which to a great extent was influenced by the Act of Union and other causes, had clouded but not destroyed the dawning hopes of the Catholics. The Right Rev. John Young, though a firm loyalist, and an anxious supporter of order, was at the same time thoroughly devoted to the best interests of his country, and the Catholic religion possessed in him a fearless and accomplished defender and advocate in all times and seasons. Learned,1 indefatigable, devoted to study, and to the exacting duties of his exalted station, he was an example of piety and self-denial, and exercised an influence, by the unostentatious performance of his duty, which was widely felt beyond the confines of his extensive diocese. There was no diocesan seminary or college, at this period, in Munster, except the small one at Peter's Cell, Limerick, and that of St. John's, Waterford, which continues to flourish up to this our own day, when Dr. Young conceived the idea of founding a college, suited to the increasing requirements of the diocese. In this he was aided not only by the clergy, but by the Catholic citizens, who in 1805, had entered into large subscriptions for the purpose: the site was at Park, within the demesne of Park House, which Dr. Young had purchased for £1800, as a residence for the Bishops of the diocese; he presided over the college, which sent out many distinguished clergymen.8 In the agitation which now grew up, connected with the Catholic claims, nothing became of more absorbing and intense interest than the question of the Veto—in other words, the permission of government interference in the appointment of Catholic Bishops —a proposal against which, the Catholic Hierarchy of Ireland had protested, and not one of them with more simpleness of purpose and directness of aim, than Dr. Young in 1808, when a solemn synod was held in Dublin, and when their sentiments were expressed in language not to be mistaken or
1 Dr. Young possessed the Black Book of Limerick, which bears the marks of his industry in his chronological division of its contents. He had a school for the poor iu Newgate-lane, which was attended by his sister, Miss Young, with careful assiduity; he had the catechism translated into Irish, and the English and Irish version published together by M'Auliff the printer in Quay lane, and several editions of it went through the press. He published the Diocesan Statutes before the close of the last century, and in the commencement of them he gave a succinct account of the state of religion in the diocese, from the time of the Right Rev. Dr. O'Keeffe, in 1731, who was the first Catholic Bishop who resided in the city after the last siege. He was a scholar and a divine of the highest order of talent, a great mathematician, an accomplished linguist, an excellent historian; and in love of country he was never excelled.
'This college existed until 1880, when the students were drafted to Waterford, Carlow, Maynooth, fcc, but the building was not removed till the year 1864.