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which seemed to bid defiance to a divine prophecy, and to fap the foundation of christianity itself; yet the Irish commons, in the session of 1747, brought heads of a bill into their house, “ for naturalizing perfons professing the Jewish religion; which were committed, agreed to by the house, without any amendment, and presented to his grace the lord lieutenant, to be by him transmitted into England.” It is remarkable, that in the session immediately preceding, the fame bill was brought into the commons, and a carried through, without any debate;" but it then miscarried either here or in England; as it also did this second time; so that it has not as yet had the honour of being paffed into a law among us.
How aptly might each of these determined promoters of this hopeful bill, for strengthening the protestant interest of Ireland, have exclaimed in the words of the poet,
Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo!
CH A P.
The catholics address the lord lieutenant. WHEN the Duke of Bedford was lord lieutenant of Ireland, he was greatly alarmed by an unprecedented attack on parliament; and not without some apprehenfion of danger to his own person. But this strange and dangerous outrage was soon appeased, by the
* It was on this occasion, that Prime Serjeant Stannard, a real patriot, and an unprejudiced honourable gentleman, in his speech in the house of commons, contrasting the riotous conduct of the Lucasians (as they were then called after their chief), with the quiet and dutiful behaviour of the Roman catholics, in that and other dangerous conjunctures, gave the following honourable testimony in favour of these latter: “We have lived amicably and in harmony among ourselves, and without any material party distinctions, for several years past, till within these few months ; and during the late wicked re
assistance of that part of the army which was then in the city, without any further ill consequence. But, as at the next meeting of the members of parliament, upon an enquiry into the authors and promoters of it, some of the very persons guilty in that respect, did, by their interest in both houses, endeavour to fix the odium of it on the obnoxious papists (to which conscious untruth and calumny, the war then carrying on against France, gave some kind of colour); the catholics thought it high time publicly to vindicate their chara&ters from that, and every other vile suspicion of disloyalty, by an address to his grace the lord lieutenant; testifying their warmest gratitude for the lenity they experienced under his majesty's government, and their readiness to concur with the faithfullest and most zealous of his majesty's other subjects, in opposing, by every means in their power, all, both his foreign and domestic enemies. Addresses of this loyal tenor were sent to his grace from every considerable part of the kingdom, and most graciously received by him."
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bellion in Scotland, we had the comfort and satisfaction to see that all was quiet here. And to the honour of the Roman catholics be it remembered, that not a man of them moved tongue, pen, or sword, upon the then, or the present occafion; and I am glad to find, that they have a grateful and proper sense of the mildness and moderation of our government. For my part, while they behave with duty and allegiance to the present establishment, I shall hold them as men in equal esteem with others, in every point but one; and while their private opinion interferes not with public tranquillity, I think their industry and allegiance ought to be encouraged.
to There was a circumstance attending his grace's answer to the address of the Roman catholics of Dublin, which for its great humanity and condefcenfion, must not be omitted. As if he now meant to clear the Roman catholics intirely from the above-mentioned foul afperfion, in the fame place in which it was lately cast upon them, he defired the then speaker, Mr. Ponsonby, while the house was sitting, to read aloud from the chair, his answer to that addrefs, which contained his full approbation of their past conduct, and an assurance of his future favour and protection, as long as they continued it.
The catholics of Ireland, pressed by penal laws, form
an humble remonstrance to be presented to his majesty.
THOUGH the exercise of the catholic religion at this time was connived at in this kingdom, the penal laws affecting the property of its professors, were so frequently and rigorously executed, that several wealthy families were reduced to the fad alternative, either to quit their native country or to starve in it, which shews the falsehood and absurdity of the common pretence, that these laws were originally framed and since kept in force, meerly for the suppression of the exercise of the popish religion, on a groundless supposition, as it now appears, that both its doctrine and practice are hostile to the peace, order, and very being of this protestant govern. ment. $ The Roman catholics of Ireland (laid an eminent member of the British commons on this occasion) enjoy the full and free exercise of their religion ; it is against their property that the sword of law is raised.'
In this situation they at length began to recollect the capitulation of Limerick in 1691, heretofore mentioned, as a topic of redress very proper to be now revived, which they seemed to have strangely forgotten or overlooked for many years past, and which nevertheless holds forth to them as full and as folemn an assurance of being exempted from all future penalties and restraints on account of their religion, as the public faith of the nation, confirmed by an act of the Irish parliament, is capable of giving them. Upon this ground therefore, they formed an humble and dutiful remonstrance of their grievances relative to their property, with a view of having it presented in due form, to his late majesty. But that good king happening to die at this juncture, to the great regret of all his subjects of every denomination, it was then thought proper, to introduce this
remonftrance to the throne, by first presenting a congratulatory address to his present most gracious majesty, on his happy accession ; which address was accordingly drawn up, and after having been signed by all the most considerable Roman catholics of the kingdom, was laid before the Earl of Hallifax, lord lieutenant of Ireland, and by him transmitted to his majesty, by whom it was graciously received. The remonftrance above-mentioned was conceived in the following words :
To the KING's moft Excellent MAJESTY.
The humble Petition and Remonstrance of the Roman
Catholics of Ireland.
Most gracious Sovereign, WE
your majesty's dutiful and faithful subjects, the Roman catholics of the kingdom of Ireland, beg leave to lay at your majesty's feet this humble remonftrance of some of those grievances and restraints under which we have long laboured without murmuring or com. plaint; and we presume to make this submissive application, from a sense of your majesty's great and universal clemency, of your gracious and merciful regard to tender consciences, and from a consciousness of our own loyalty, affection and gratitude to your majesty's person and government, as duties incumbent upon us, which it is our unalterable resolution to pay in all events during the remainder of our lives.
And we are the more emboldened to present this our humble remonstrance, because it appeareth unto us, that the laws by which such grievances are occafioned, and such penalties inflicted upon us, have taken rise rather from private views of expediency and self-interest, or from mistaken jealousies and mistrusts, than from any truly public spirited motives ; inasmuch as they seem to have infringed certain privileges, rights and immunities, which had been freely and folemnly granted, together with a promise of further favour and indulgence
to the Roman catholics of Ireland, upon the most valuable confiderations. For we most humbly offer it to your majesty's just and generous consideration, that on the third day of October, 1691, the Roman catholic nobility and gentry of this kingdom, under the late king James, entered into articles of capitulation at Limerick, whereby, among other things, it was stipulated and agreed, that “ the Roman catholics of Ireland should enjoy such privilege in the exercise of their religion as they did enjoy in the reign of king Charles II. and that their majesties as soon as their affairs would permit them, would summon a parliament in Ireland, and endeavour to procure the said Roman catholics such further security in that particular, as might preserve them from any disturbance on account of their faid religion." Whereupon these noblemen and gentlemen laid
down their arms, and immediately submitted to their majesties government; at the same time that they had offers of powerful assistance from France, which might, if accepted, have greatly obstructed the success of their majesties arms in the war then carrying on abroad against that kingdom.
And although these articles were duly ratified and confirmed, first by the commander in chief of their majesties forces in Ireland in conjunction with the then lords justices thereof, and afterwards by an act of the Irish parliament, in the ninth year of his majesty king William's reign, by which they became the public faith of the nation, plighted and engaged to these people in as full, firm and folemn manner, as ever public faith was plighted to any people ; yet so far were the Roman catholics of Ireland from receiving the just benefit thereof; fo far from seeing any steps taken, or means used in the Irish parliament, to procure them such promised security, as might preserve them from any disturbance on account of their religion, that on the contrary, several laws have been since enacted in that parliament, by which the exercise of their religion is made penal, and themselves and their heirs for ever have forfeited those rights, immunities and titles to their estates and properties, which in the reign of king Charles II, they