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That this act of truly royal beneficence and justice, may be added to the other instances of your majesty's august virtues, and that the deliverance of a faithful and distressed people, may be one of those distinguishing acts of your reign, which shall transmit its memory to the love, gratitude and venerationof our latest posterity, is the humble prayer of, &c. &c. Fingall
And above three hun.
dred other respectaN. Dease
Having given a brief account of the state of the catholics of this kingdom since the revolution to the present time, groaning under the oppressive weight of the popery laws: I shall now conclude with the following extract from the observations of that judicious and impartial writer, Mr. Young, on the State of Ireland; and leave the candid and unprejudiced reader to judge of the cruel treatment and long sufferings of these people.
" It is no superficial view I have taken of this matter in Ireland, and being at Dublin at the time a very trifling part of these laws was agitated in parliament, I attended the debates,
with my mind open to conviction, and auditor for the mere purpose of information : I have conversed on the subject with some of the most distinguished characters in the kingdom, and I cannot after all but declare that the scope, purport, and aim of the laws of discovery as executed are not against the catholic religion which encreases under them, but against the industry, and property of whoever professes that religion. In vain has it been faid, 'that consequence and power follow property, and that the attack is made in order to wound the doctrine through its property. If such was the intention, I reply, that seventy years experience prove the folly and futility of it. Those laws have crushed all the industry, and wrested most of the property from the catholics ; but the religion triumphs; it is thought to encrease. Those who have handed about calculations to prove a decrease, admit on the face of them that it will require FOUR THOUSAND YEARS to make converts of the whole, supposing that work to go on in future, as it has in the past time.
But the whole pretence is an affront to common sense, for it implies that you will lefsen a religion by persecuting it : all history and experience condemn such a proposition.
The system pursued in Ireland has had no other tendency but that of driving out of the kingdom all the personal wealth of the catholics, and prohibiting their industry within it. The face of the country, every object in short which presents itself to the eye of a traveller, tells him how effectually this has been done. Í
urge it not as an argument, the whole kingdom speaks it as a fact. We have seen that this conduct has not converted the people to the religion of government; and instead of adding to the internal security of the realm, it has endangered it : if therefore it does not add to the national prosperity, for what purpose but that of private tyranny could it have been embraced and persisted in ? Mistaken ideas of private interest account for the actions of individuals, but what could have influenced the British government to permit a system which must inevitably prevent the island from ever becoming of the importance which nature intended !" Young's Tour in Irel. vol. ii. p. 48-9.
Α Ρ Ρ Ε Ν DI X.
No. I. From the MSS. Trinity College, Dublin.
A brief Declaration of the Government of Ireland ; opening
many Corruptions in the same; discovering the Discontentments of the Irishry; and the Causes moving those expected Troubles: and fhewing Means how to establish Quietness in that kingdom honourably, to your Majesty's profit, without any encrease of charge. [Wrote in the government of Sir William Fitz-Williams,
who was fix years lord deputy in Ireland ; that is, from
the year 1588 to the year 1594.] By Captain THOMAS LEE, 1594. Anno Regni Reginæ 372:
To the Queen's most excellent Majesty. UNDERSTANDING, most gracious sovereign, the proud and insolent terms the lords of the north of Ireland do now stand upon, it maketh me bold to set down my knowledge of those parts to your majesty, because I have debated often with the chiefs of them, what was fit they should yield unto your majesty ; and that it was unmeet for them in any fort to condition with your highness: in the end (after long debating) they seemed somewhat to like and allow of that which I demanded, as hereafter shall appear. And because your majesty may the better judge the causes of their discontentments, I have here fet down the unconsciable courses which have been held towards them, which being remedied, and that they may fee your majesty doth no way allow of the same, there is no doubt (notwithstanding all their proud shews of disloyalty) but that they may be brought to dutiful obedience, and to yield you that profit which neither your majesty now hath, nor any of your progenitors ever had; so as they may likewise have that which they demand, being nothing unfit for your majesty to grant. In which discourse, if any thing should seem unpleasing to your majesty, I humbly beseech you to pass it over, and to peruse the rest, whereof I doubt not, but something will content your highness, for that it tendeth to your highness's service and commodity.
My meaning, whereby your highness's profit may arise, is by O'Donnel, Maguire, Bryan Oge O'Roirke, and Bryan Oge M Mahon.
The demands I made for your majesty were these, that they should receive your majesty's forces into their countries : and your laws to go current, as they did in other places; and some part of their countries to be reserved for your majesty, to dispose unto them who should govern them, and they to charge themselves with that proportion that was fit for them to bear.
To those demands they all yielded, so that they might have such gentlemen chosen, as they knew would use no treachery nor hard measures towards them, but to live upon that which your majesty would allow ; and that which they would give of their free consents, and to be no further charged; and they would be as dutiful as any other country in Ireland now is. And how this may be performed, I have made bold with your majesty's favourable liking, here to set down upon my knowledge, both how your majesty's forces may be received with their consent, and they to yield great profit in discharge of that which your majesty allows to the soldiers, and the soldiers to be well satisfied.
The cause they have to stand upon those terms, and to seek for better assurance, is the harsh practices used against others, by those who have been placed in authority, to protect men for your majesty's service, which they have greatly abused and used in this fort.
They have drawn unto them by protection, three or four hundred of these country people, under colour to do majesty service, and brought them to a place of meeting, where your garrison soldiers were appointed to be, who have there most dishonourably put them all to the sword; and this hath been by the confent and practice of the lord deputy for the time being. If this be a good course to draw these savage people to the state, to do your majesty service, and not rather to enforce them to stand upon their guard, I humbly leave to your majesty.
When some one who hath been a bad member (pardoned by your majesty) hath heard himself exclaimed upon to be a notable thief after his pardon ; and hath fimply come in without any bonds, or any other enforcement, to an open feffion, to take his trial, by your majesty's laws, if any could accuse him: notwithstanding his coming in after this manner, and without any trial at the time (because he was a bad man in times paft) there hath been order given in that session for the execution of him; and fo he has lost his life, to the great dishonour of your majesty, and discredit of your laws.
There have also been divers others pardoned by your majesty, who have been held very dangerous men, and after their pardon have lived very dutifully, and done your majesty great service, and many of them have lost their lives therein ; yet, upon small suggestions to the lord deputy, that they should be spoilers of your majesty's fubjects, notwithstanding their pardon, there have been bonds demanded of them for their appearance at the next sessions. They knowing themselves guiltless, have most willingly entered into bonds, and appeared, and there (no matter being found to charge them) they have been arraigned only for being in company with some one of your highness's fervitors, at the killing of notorious known traitors; and for that only have been condemned of treason, and loft their lives. And this dishonest practice hath been by the confent of your deputies.
When there have been notable traitors in arms against your majesty, and sums of money offered for their heads, yet could by no means be compassed, they have in the end (of their own accord) made means for their pardon, offering to do great service, which they have accordingly performed, to the contentment of the state, and thereupon received pardon, and have put in fureties for their good behaviour, and to be answerable at all times, at afsızės and sessions, when they should be called; yet, notwithstanding, there have been secret commiffions given for the murdering of those men. They have been often fet upon by the sheriffs of shires, to whom the commissions were directed, in sundry of which afsaults, some of them have been killed, and others have hardly escaped. And after all this, they have simply come, without pardon or protection, to an open place of justice, to submit themseves to your majetty's laws; where they have been put to their trial upon several indictments, of all which they have been acquitted, and set at liberty. If this be a course allowable, for poor men to be handled in this manner, and to be ät no time in safety of their lives, I humbly leave to your majesty.
When many notorious offenders have submitted themselves to your majesty's mercy, and have been accepted, and have had their pardons, and have put in good assurances to be at all times answerable to your laws; the chiefest rebel (whose followers they were) hath been countenanced and borne out by your state, to rob and spoil, burn and kill these poor men, who did thus submit themselves. When they have very pitifully complained against that arch-rebel and his complices, of these outrages, they have been sharply rebuked and reproved for their speeches, and left void of all remedy for their loffes ; so as when in the end they have made petition to have licence by their own means, and help of their friends, to recover their goods from the rebels, they have been rejected, and utterly discomforted;