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vers complaints against sheriffs in general, namely, that sundry sheriffs have no freehold, or habitation, in the counties for which they serve, as they ought to have by the laws of the kingdom ; also that divers of them have no settled estates of land or freehold in other places ; and having gathered rents, and other duties for his majesty, they depart without passing tKeir accounts, which appeareth to be true : and the reason thereof is affirmed to be, that in the civilest countries in the English pale, and in other counties within the kingdom, there are found very few protestants that are freeholders of quality fit to be sheriffs, and that will take the oath of supremacy, as by the laws they ought to do; and by the lord deputy's order, no sheriff is admitted till he enter into sufficient bond for answering his accounts.
It is likewise a grievance complained of, and found true, that many sheriffs, especially those of the meaner fort, do suffer their men, bailiffs, and followers to take victuals of the country for themselves without money, and fometimes both money and victuals; and that in gathering in his majesty's rents, and the fines for using the short ploughs, and other impositions, as building of bridges, and such like, they do take of the people, besides the principal duties twelve pence in the pound, and sometimes greater sums, for their private uses, for which the sheriffs give no reason, but that the same is taken towards their charges in collecting those duties, in regard of the little benefit which their office otherwise yieldeth, &c.
The Remonstrance of the Catholics of Ireland, delivered to his
[See Review, p. 279, vol. i.]
your majestie's most dutifull and loyall subjects, the catholiques of your highness kingdome of Ireland, being neceffitated to take armes for the preservation of our relligion, the mainetenance of your majestie's rights and prerogatives, the naturall and just desence of our lives and estates, and the liberties of our country, have often fince the beginning of these troubles attempted to present our humble complaynts unto your royall view; but we are frustrated of our hopes therein by the power
and vigilance of our adverfaryes, (the now lords justices and other ministers of state in this kingdome) who by the assistance of the malignant partie in England, now in armes against your royall person, with less difficultie to attain the bad ends they proposed to themselves, of extirpateing our religion and nation, have hitherto debarred us of any access to your majestie's justice, which occasioned the effusion of much innocent blood, and other mischiefs in this your kingdome, that otherwise might well bee prevented. And whereas of late notice was sent unto us of a commission granted by your majestie to the right honorable the Lord Marques of Ormond, and others, authorifing them to heare what we shall say or propound, and the fame to transmitt to your majestie in writeing, which your majestie's gratious and princely favour, wee finde to be accompanied with these words, viz. (albeit wee doe extreanily detest the odious rebellion which the recufants of Ireland have without ground or colour raysed against us, our crowne and dignitie) which words wee doe in all humilitie conceive to have proceeded from the misrepresentations of our adversaries ; and therefore doe protest, we have been therein maliciously traduced to your majesie, haveing never entertayned any rebellious thought against your majestie, your crowne, or dignitie ; but allwayes have beene, and ever will continue, your majestie's most faithfull and loyall subjects; and doe most humbly beseech your majestie soe to owne and avowe us ; and as such we present unto yoạr majestie these ensueing grievances, and causes of the present distempers.
Imprimis, The catholiques of this kingdome, whome no re. ward could invite, no persecution inforce, to forsake that religion professed by them and their ancestors for thirteen hundred years, or thereabouts, are since the second yeare of the reigne of queene of Elizabeth, made incapable of places of honour or trust, in church or commonwealth ; their robles become contemptible, their gentry debarred from learning in universities, or public schools within this kingdom; their younger brothers put by all manner of imployment in their native country, and necesfitated (to their great discomfort, and impoverishment of the land) to feeke education and fortune abroad; misfortunes made incident to the said catholiques of Ireland only, (their numbers, qualitie, and loyaltie considered) of all the nations of Christendome.
2. Secondly, That by this incapacitie, which in respect of their religion was imposed upon the said catholiqucs; men of meane condition and qualitie, for the most part were in this kingdome, imployed in places of greatest honour and trust, who being to begin a fortune, built it on the ruines of the catholique natives, att all tymes lying open to be discountenanced, and wrought uppon : and who because they would feeme to be carefull of the government,) did, from tyme to tyme, suggest false
and malicious matters against them, to render them suspected and odious in England, from which ungrounded informations, and their many other ill offices, these mischiefes have befallen the catholiques of Ireland. First, the opposition given to all the graces and favours that' your majestie, or your late royall father, promised, or intended to the natives of this kingdom ; secondly, the procuring of false inquisitions, upon faigned titles, of their estates, againft many hundred years poffeffion, and no travers, of petition of right, admitted thereunto, and jurors denying to find such offices were censured even to publique infamie, and ruine of their estates, the findeing thereof being against their consciences, and their evidences ; and nothing must stand against fuch offices taken of great and considerable parts of the kingdome, but letters pattents under the great feale; and if letters pattents were produced, (as in most cases they were) none must be allowed valid, nor yet sought to be legally avoyded: foe that, of late tymes, by the underhand workeing of Sir William Parsons knight, now one of the lords justices heere, and the arbitrary illegal power of the two impeached judges in parliament, and others drawen by their advise and counsell, one hundred and fifty letters pattents were avoyded in one morning; which course continued untill all the pattents of the kingdome, to a few, were by them and their associates declared void
; such was the care those ministers had of your majestie's great feale, being the publique faith of the kingdome. This way of service, in shew only pretended for your majestie, proved to your differvice, and to the immoderate, and too tymely advancement of the said ministers of state, and their adherents, and nearly to the utter ruine of the said catholiques.
3. That, whereas your majestie's late royall father, king James, having a princely and fatherly care of this kingdome, was gratiously pleased to graunt feveral} large and beneficiali commissions, under the great feale of England, and severall instructions, and letters under his privie fignett, for the passing and securing of the estates of his subjects here by letters pattents under the great seale, and letters pattents accordingly were thereof passed, fynes payed, old rents increased, and new rents. reserved to the crowne.
And the said late king was further gratiously pleased, att severall tymes, to fend divers honorable perfons of integritie, knowledge and experience, to examine the grievances of this kingdome, and to settle and establifh a course for redress thereof. And whereas your majestie was graciously pleased, in the fourth yeare of your raigne, to vouchsafe a favourable heareing to the grievances prefented unto you, by agents from this kingdome, and thereupon did graunt many graces and favours unto your subjects thereof, for securitie of their estates, and redress for remove of those heavie pressures, under which they have long groaned, which acts of justice, and grace extended to this
people by your majestie, and your faid royall father, did afford them great content, yett fuch was, and is yett, the immortall hatred of some of the said ministers of state, and efpecially of the said Sir William Parsons, the said impeached judges and their adherents, to any welfare and happiness of this nation, and their ambition to make themselves still greater and richer, by the total ruine and extirpation of this people; that under pretence of your majestie's service, the publique faith involved in those grants was violated, and the grace and goodness intended, by two glorious kings successively, to a faithful people, made unprofitable.
4. The illegall, arbitrary, and unlawfull proceedings of the said Sir William Parsons, and one of the said impeached judges, and their adherents and instruments, in the court of wards, and the many wilfully erroneous decrees and judgments of that court, by which the heirs of catholique noblemen, and other catholiques, were most cruelly and tyrannically dealt withall, deftroyed in their estates, and bred in diffolution and ignorance, their parents debts unsatisfied, their fisters and younger brothers left wholly unprovided for, the auncient and appearing tenures of mesne lords unregarded, estates valid in law, and made for valuable considerations, avoyded against law, and the whole land filled upp with the frequent swarmes of escheators, feodaryes, pursuivants, and others, by authoritie of that court.
5. The faid catholiques, notwithstanding the heavy pressures beforementioned, and other grievances, in part represented to your majestie by the late committees of both houses of parliament of this kingdom, (whereunto they humbly desire that relation be had, and redress obtained therein,) did readyly, and without reluctance, or repineing, contribute to all the subsidies, loanes, and other extraordinary graunts made to your majestie in this kingdome, since the beginning of your raigne, amounting unto well neere one million of poundes, over and above your majestie's revenue, both certain and casuall: and although the said catholiques were in parliament, and otherwise the most forward in graunting the said fummes, and did beare nyne parts of ten in the payments thereof, yett fuch was the power of their adversaryes, and the advantage they gained by the opportunitie of their continuall address to your majestie, to increase their reputation in getting in of those moneys, and their authoritie in the distribution thereof to your majestie's greate differvice, that they assumed to themselves to be the procurers thereof, and represented the faid catholiques as obstinate and refractory.
6. The army raised for your majestie's service here, at the greate charge of the kingdome, was disbanded by the pressing importunitie of the malignant partie in England, not giving way that your majestie should take advise therein with the parliament here ; alledging the faid army was popith, and therefore not to
be trusted; and although the world could wittness the unwarrantable and unexampled invasion made by the malignant partie of the parliament in England, uppon your majestie's honour, rights, prerogatives, and principall flowers of your crowne; and that the said Sir William Parsons, Sir Adam Loftus knight, your majestie's vice-treasurer of this kingdome, and others their adherents, did declare that an army of ten thousand Scotts was to arrive in this kingdome, to force the said catholiques to change their religion, and that Ireland could never doe well without a rebellion, to the end the remaine of the natives thereof might be extirpated; and wagers were laid at a generall assizes and publique meetings, by some of them then, and now imployed in places of greate profitt and trust in this kingdome, that within one yeare no catholique Thould be left in Ireland; and that they faw the ancient and unquestionable privileges of the parliament of Ireland unjustly and against law encroached uppon, by the orders, acts and proceedings of both howses of parliament in England, in sending for and questioning, to, and in, that parliament, the members of the parliament of this kingdome, sitting the parliament here ; and that by speeches, and orders printed by authoritie of both houses in England, it was declared that Ireland was bound by the statutes made in England, if named, which is contrary to knowen truth, and the laws here settled for fowre hundred yeares, and upwards ; and that the faid catholiques were thoroughly enformed of the protestation made by both houses of parliament of England against catholiques, and of their intentions to introduce lawes for the 'extirpation of catholique religion in the three kingdomes: and that they had certain notice of the bloody execution of priests there, only for being priests, and that your majesty's mercy and power could not prevaile with them to save the lyfe of one condemned priest; and that the catholiques of England being of their own flesh and blood, must suffer, or depart the land, and consequently others not of so neere a relation to them, if bound by their statutes, and within their power. These motives, although very strong and powerfull to produce apprehensions and fears in the faid catholiques, did not prevaile with them to take defensive armes, much less offensive; they still expecting that your majestie in your high wisdome might be able in a short tyme, to apply feasonable cures, and apt remedies unto those evils, and innovations.
7. That the committees of the lords and commons of this kingdome, having attended your majestie for the space of nyne months, your majestie was gratioully pleased, notwithstanding your then weightie and urgent affayrs in England and Scotland, to receive, and very often with great patience to hear their grievances, and many debates thereof at large ; during which debates, the said lords justices, and some of your privy councill Vol. II. z