Page images

acquit himself with honour towards that people ; whereof,” adds he,“ many have perished, and more are likely to do so for their loyalty to the crown.”

[blocks in formation]

The real cause of the clergy's proceedings at James-town. At the same time that the king's declaration at Dumferling was notified in form to the Irish congregation, the Marquis of Ormond proposed to make good the peace, upon certain conditions ; one of which was the revoking their excommunication. But that they refufed to consent to, because, as they alleged among other reasons, “ they understood from his lordship’s letter to them on that occasion, that he had suggested matter unto his majesty for making that declaration, by which, for ought appearing unto them, the king had withdrawn his commission from him, and had cast away the nation, as rebels, from his protecVol. II.



• The king's printed declaration was received by the Marquis of Ormond, on the 13th of October, 1650, and sent to the commissioners of trust on the 24th of the same month. Walsh's Hift. of the Remonft. App. f. 123.

b In their declaration, annexed to their excommunication, they allege, which is true, " that he had represented to his majesty, that some parts of the kingdom were disobedient, which "ablom lutely deny any disobedience to have been then committed ; and that thereby he had procured from his majesty, a letter to withdraw his own person and the royal authority, if such disobedience was multiplied ; and fo leave the people without the benefit of the peace." Borl. Irish Rebel. f. 322. from Clarend.

The bishops at James-town alleged, as a reason for not revoking their excommunication, “ that they had perused the declaration which had been published in Scotland, disavowing the peace.” Id. ib. f. 331. “ These bishops urged the declaration in Scotland, as a ground and excuse for all their proceedings.” Id. ib. f. 332.

è In the declaration at Dumferling, the king “ acknowledged his forrow for making peace with the papists, and recalled


tion. Nor could they understand (they said) the mystery of preserving his majesty's authority with them, or over them, in such a case; or how it could be done.” They added, “ that they believed, the king's authority being thus taken from them, the best remedy for hindering the people to close with the parliament, was to return to their former confederacy, as it was intended by the nation, in case of the breach of the peace, on the part of his majesty.”

That the king's agreement with the Scots, and the shameful conditions of it, were early known to the Irish in general, is manifest, not only from what has been already mentioned, but also from the following instance of the insincerity of his majesty's more recent promises to them. When his majesty first took the refolution of entering into a personal treaty with the Scotch commissioners at Breda, he wrote to the marquis of Ormond, January 23d, 1649,' “ to affure him, that though he would endeavour to oblige that nation (the Scots), by all just and honourable condescensions, to engage themselves to enter England in the spring, with a considerable army, for his service; yet he would not, either in the said treaty, or upon any other occasion whatsoever, consent to any thing that should be contrary to the agreement made with the Roman catholics of Ireland; but would fulfil and perform all grants and concessions, which he had either made or promised them, according to the full extent of that grace, he had always intended that nation; which, as he had new instances of their loyalty and affection to him, he should study rather to enlarge, than to diminish, or infringe, in the least degree.” He, at the same time, desired the Marquis

“ to give


i Cart. Orm. vol. ii. fol. 129.

all the commissions granted by him in Ireland.” Cart. Orm. vol. ii. f. 131.

Hence the Earl of Clanrickard, in a letter to Lord Muskerry, confeffes, “ that the king, by that act (declaration) disavowed the peace with the Irish, and took away his protection from them." Clanrick. Mem. Dub. ed. p. 108.

these assurances to all the Irish Roman catholics. But this letter, it seems, did not reach his lordship till midsummer following ; and “ that delay," says Carte,"

brought an irreparable mischief upon the king's fervice; the marquis's continued ignorance of the king's condition and pleasure, disabling him to refute the malicious reports raised, and the aspersions thrown on the king, for breach of faith, and for having abandoned and given up the Irish ; fo that as his excellency complains in his dispatches à by Lord Taaffe, “ the venom of the forgery had wrought very near a deadly effect, before the remedy came. Thus we see, that before midsummer, 1650, the king's agreement with the Scots, and its ruinous consequences, were not only generally known in Ireland, but also had wrought an almost deadly effect upon the affections of that people towards him. And that their belief of it was founded, not on forgery or malicious reports, but on real matter of fact.

And so groundless is the pretence, that the Marquis of Ormond was surprized and puzzled at these proceedings of the bishops at James-town, as at an event, of which he was at a loss to divine the cause, that it is manifest, from a letter of his to Secretary Long, that he was fully apprised of them, and the motives that produced them, at least fourteen days before they were made public. For having mentioned, in that letter, an answer he had sent to a request of theirs, which he judged would be ill taken, he adds, “ which

D 2


2 Id. ib.

3 Cart. Collect. Orig. Pap. vol. ii. p. 443.

d. What Ormond himself says on this occasion, is, “ Inafmuch as for the want of encouragement of frequent dispatches, accompanied but with chearful promises, this people took themfelves to be absolutely abandoned; nor was I able to refute malicious reports

raised to that effect." This letter of Ormond's is dated June 27th, 1650; and the king had consented to make void the peace with the Irish, and had signed both the covenants, national and folemn, before they suffered him to land in Scotland, which was on the 23d of that month. See Sir Edward Walker's Hist. Discours. Carte's Collect. of Orm. Papers.

answer, whether it will produce a direct declaration against me, and an excommunication of all those that fhall adhere to me, or not, is niore than I am certain of, though I be told it will.” This letter is dated the 2d of September ; and the clergy's declaration and excommunication, were not published till the 15th of that month.

[blocks in formation]

The clergy's proceedings at James-town, disapproved of

by the generality of the Irish catholics. THESE violent proceedings of the Irish clergy, though, it must be confessed, not unprovoked,' were far from being approved of by the generality of the catholics of Ireland. c. All the fober profeffors of the catholic religion,” says Clarendon,' “ abhorred them; and most of the commissioners of trust, and the principal nobility, and most considerable gentry remained firm in their particular affection and duty to the king; and in their fubmiffion to the authority of his lieutenant, notwithstanding the excommunication. And not only the whole nobility and gentry of fortune and interest, some very few of the latter excepted, but also many pious and learned men of the secular and regular clergy, and even some of the bishops, did abhor and abominate the proceedings of that congregation, and the doctrine they infused into the people; the same being disowned by some of those bishops, as being obtruded upon them by the major vote; or done by their procurators, without their aslent or knowledge. And even others of them, who were present at the congregation, and subscribed the excommunica


Hist, of the Irish Rebel.

See lords justices orders concerning Roman catholic priests, vol. i. p. 248.

tion, disclaimed their having consented to it, though they were obliged to sign it for conformity.”

Ít hath been mentioned above, that this congregation had annexed to their censure a restriction, by which the next general assembly was empowered to difpose of it in what manner they thought proper. That assembly met, by the Marquis of Ormond's appointment at Loughrea, on the 15th of November, 1650; “ it was very full, and (besides the clergy), confifted of the principal nobility and gentry of fortune and interest in the kingdom. “ The bishops there prefent, for the removing of those jealousies, which were occafioned by their proceedings at James-town,' declared and protested, of their own accord, that by their excommunication and declaration, they had no other aim but the preservation of their religion and people ; and that they did not purpose to make any encroachment upon his majesty's authority, or the liberty of their fellow subjects; confessing that it did not belong to their jurisdičtion fo to do.'

When this assembly understood the Marquis of Ormond's resolution to leave the kingdom, they fent four of their members,4 viz. the Lords Dillon and Clanrickard, and two others, to his lordship at Kilcolgan, with an instrument bearing date the 7th of December; in which, after reciting what the bishops had protested in the assembly, concerning their excommunication and declaration, they added, “ that they, the lords spiritual and temporal, and the gencry met in that assembly, conceived, that there was no better foundation or ground for their union, than the holding to and obeying his majesty's authority, to which they owed and ought to pay all dutiful obedience. And they did thereby declare and protest, that there was not any, power in the lords spiritual or temporal, gentry or people, clergy or laity of the kingdom, to alter or take away his majesty's authority ; they holding that to


* Cart. Orm. vol.ii. Clarend.

3 Id. ib. fol. 139.
* Borl. Hist. Irish Rebel. fol. 339. Clarend. Carte.
5 Id. ib.

« PreviousContinue »