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were by law intitled to, and enjoyed, in common with the rest of their fellow subjects.
And such is the evil tendency of these laws to create jealousy and disgust between parents and their children, and especially, to stifle in the breasts of the latter those pious sentiments of filial duty and obedience which reafon dictates, good policy requires, and which the almighty fo strictly enjoins, that in virtue of them, a son, however undutiful or profligate in other respects, shall merely by the merit of conforming to the established religion, not only deprive his Roman catholic father of that free and full possession of his estates that power to mortgage or otherwise dispose of it, as the exigencies of his affairs may require, but also shall himself have full liberty to mortgage, sell or otherwise alienate that estate from his family for ever; a liberty, most gracious sovereign, the frequent use of which has entailed poverty and despair on some of the most antient and opulent families in this kingdom, and brought many an aged parent's grey hairs with forrow to the grave.
And although very few estates at present remain in the hands of the Roman catholics of Ireland, and therefore little or no matter appears to be left for these laws to operate upon, nevertheless, we are so far from being secure in the possession of personal property, so far from being preserved from any disturbance on account of our religion, even in that respect, that new and forced constructions have been of late years put upon these laws (for we cannot think that such constructions were ever originally intended), by which, on the sole account of our religion, we are in many cases, stript of that personal property by discoverers and informers; a set of men, molt gracious sovereign, once generally, and justly despised among us, but of late grown into some repute, by the increase of their numbers and by the frequency, encouragement and success of their practices.
These and many other cruel restrictions (such as no christian people under heaven but ourselves are made liable to) are and have long been greatly detrimental, not only to us in particular, but also to the commerce,
culture, and every other improvement of this kingdom in general; and what is surely a melancholy consideration, are chiefly beneficial to the discoverers and informers before-mentioned; who, under colour of these laws, plunder indiscriminately, parents, brethren, kinsmen and friends, in despite of all the ties of blood, of affection and confidence, in breach of the divine laws, of all former human laws, enacted in this or perhaps any other kingdom, for the security of property,
since the creation of the world.
The necessity of continuing laws in their full force for so great a number of years, which are attended with such shameful and pernicious consequences, ought, we humbly conceive, to be extremely manifest, preffing, and permanent ; but so far is this from being the case with respect to these disqualifying laws, that even the pretended grounds for those jealousies and mistrusts, which are said to have given birth to them, have long since disappeared; it being a well-known and undenia. ble truth, that your majesty's distressed, but faithful fubjects, the Roman catholics of Ireland, have neither the inclination nor the power to disturb your majesty's government; nor can (we humbly presume) that only pretext now left for continuing them in force, viz. their tendency to make profelytes to the established religion, in any degree justify the manifold severities and injuries occasioned by them. For, alas ! most gracious sovereign, there is but too much reason to believe, that proselytes so made are, for the most part, sach in appearance only in order to become in reality, what all sincere chri. stians condemn and detest, undutiful children, unnatural brethren, or perfidious friends; and we submit it to your majesty's great wisdom and goodness, whether motives fo repugnant to the public interest, and to all social, moral, and religious duties, are fit to be confided in or longer encouraged.
And because we are sensible, moft gracious sovereign, that our professions of loyalty have been often cruelly misrepresented, even by those who were thoroughly quainted with the candour and uprightness of our deal. ings in all other respects, we most humbly offer it to
your princely and generous confideration, that we rest not the proof of our sincerity in such professions on words, but on things known and attested by all the world, on our dutiful, peaceable and submissive behaviour under such pressures, for more than half a century; a conduct, may it please your majesty, that clearly evinces the reality of that religious principle, which withholds us from facrificing conscience or honour to any worldly interest whatever ; since rather than violate either by hypocritical professions, we have all our lives, patiently suffered so many restrictions and losses in our temporal concerns; and we most submissively befeech your majesty to look down on such trials of our integrity, not only as a proof of our sincerity in this declaration, but also as an earnest and surety of our future good behaviour; and to give us leave to indulge the pleasing hope, that the continuance of that behavi. our, enforced by our religious principles, and of your majesty's great and inherent goodness towards us, which it shall be the business of our lives to endeavour to merit, may at length be the happy means of our de. liverance from some part of that burthen, which we have so long and so patiently endured.
That this act of truly royal commiseration, beneficence and justice, may be added to your majesty's many other heroic virtues, and that such our deliverance may be one of those distinguishing blessings of your reign, which shall transmit its memory to the love, gratitude, and veneration of our latest posterity, is the humble
prayer of, &c.
This remonstrance having been communicated to the late right reverend primate Stone, was approved of by his grace, and by as many of his most discerning and confidential friends as he thought proper to Thew it to, as he himself assured Lord Taaffe; and nothing hindered its being then laid before his majesty, but those unhappy divisions and animosities which still subsisted among us, and the premature death of his grace, which followed not long after, to the fincere and lasting regret of all his majesty's good and loyal subjects of this kingdom; so that it never was presented to the king; and is now
inserted here, with no other view, but to shew what endeavours have been used from time to time, for fe. veral years past, to obtain the emancipation of at least three parts in four of his majesty's useful and innoxious Irish catholic subjects from the galling fetters of the popery laws of Queen Anne.
ABOUT this time, great tumults had been raised, and some outrages committed in different parts of Munster, by cottiers and others of the lowest class of its inhabitants, occasioned by the tyranny and rapacity of their landlords. * These landlords have set their lands
“ The landlord of an Irish eftate," says the learned and impartial Mr. Young, “ inhabited by Roman catholics, is a fort of "despot, who yields obedience in whatever concerns the poor to no law but that of his will. To discover what the liberty of a people is, we must live among them, and not look for it in the statutes of the realm : the language of written law may be that of liberty, but the situation of the poor may speak no language but that of slavery: there is too much of this contradiction in Ireland. A long feries of oppressions, aided by many very ill-judged laws, have brought landlords into a habit of exerting a very
lofty superiority, and their vaffals into that of an almoft unlimited submission : speaking a language that is despised, profesling a religion that is abhorred, and being disarmed, the poor find themselves in many cases slaves even in the bosom of written liberty. Landlords that have resided much abroad, are usually humane in their ideas, but the habit of tyranny naturally contracts the mind, so that even in this polished age, there are instances of a severe carriage towards the poor, which is quite unknown in England.
Nay, (says the same ingenious writer) I have heard anecdotes of the lives of people being made free with without any apprehension of the justice of a jury. But let it not be imagined that is common; formerly it happened every day, but law gains ground... ... The execution of the law lies very much in the hands of justices of the peace, many of whom are drawn
to cottiers far above their value, and to lighten their burthen, had allowed commonage to their tenants. Afterwards in despite of all equity, contrary to all compacts, the landlords inclosed these commons, and precluded their unhappy tenants from the only means of making their bargains tolerable.” :
Another cause of these people's discontents was, the cruel exactions of tithe-mongers: these harpies“ squeezed out the very vitals of the people, and by process, citation, and sequestration, dragged from them the little which the landlord had left them. These are the real causes of the late tumults in Munster, and it may be fafely affirmed (adds my author) that there is no nation that has not had tumults from such or the like causes, without religion coming into question.”
The riots, however, of these few forlorn men, were foon construed into a general popish conspiracy against the government ; because, indeed, the greatest part of them were papists, at least in name ; although it was
An Enquiry into the Causes of the Outrages committed by the Levellers.
from the most illiberal class in the kingdom. If a poor man lodges a complaint against a gentleman, or any animal that chuses to call itself a gentleman, and the justice issues out a summons for his appearance, it is a fixed affront, and he will infallibly be called out. Where manners are in conspiracy against law, to whom are the oppressed people to have recourfe? ......
. . They know their situation too well to think of it; they can have no defence but by means of protection from one gentleman against another, who probably protects his vaffal as he would the sheep he intends to eat.
The colours of this picture are not charged. To affert that all these cases are common, would be an exaggeration; but to say that an unfeeling landlord will do all this with impunity, is to keep strictly to truth : and what is liberty but a farce and a jest, if its blessings are received as the favour of kindness and humanity, instead of being the inheritance of RIGHT ?” Young's Tour, Dub. Edit. vol. ii. p. 40-41.
bo Consequences have flowed from these oppressions (says Mr. Young) which ought long ago to have put a stop to them. In England we have heard much of white-boys, steel-boys, oak