« PreviousContinue »
But the Duke of Ormond now returned to his government, and but too well acquainted with the late diffen. tions and animofities among the Irish clergy, (which, it will hereafter appear, he then intended to revive) affected to believe, that there could be no certain reliance on any declaration of loyalty from the catholic laity, until the whole body of their clergy had first unanimously subscribed it. He therefore wrote a letter to Walsh, which was to be shewn to all those ecclesiastics who were backward in fubfcribing, wherein he told him, “ that, confidering how well his majesty received the subscriptions to the protestation presented to him in England, he did not a little wonder, that the example had not been more readily and frequently followed in Ireland. That he had no other end in wishing it should, than that those of loyal and peaceable dispositions might thereby be distinguished from others, for their own advantage; that the subscribers were more likely to find such advantage than the refusers ; and that he desired to know who had already subscribed, and who had refused.' His
grace already knew, that as this protestation had been censured by some ministers of the court of Rome, on account of its somewhat intrenching on the pope's fpiritual authority, it would be hardly possible to prevail on fuch of the Irish clergy, as had expectations from that court, to subscribe it, in the same offensive terms, in which it was conceived. For their chief, if not only objection, was to these terms; as Walsh himself owns,* " that none at all fcrupled about what he calls the 6 catholicness of it;" and that these non-subscribers had repeatedly offered to draw up and sign a protestation of their own, equally loyal to his majesty in point of civil
3 Walsh's Hift. of the Irish Remonstrance, f. 94.
" I must desire the reader,” says he, “ to take notice here, that since the year 1661, till this present, about the end of the year 1666, there was not, among such a number of pretences and excuses, any one alleged, by any at all, of unlawfulness, unconscionableness or uncatholicness in point of faith, religion or morality, in the subscription of that remonftrance, or declaration of allegiance.” Hift. of the Irish Remonf.f. 42.
obedience, and less liable to misconstruction, with respect to their spiritual subjection to the Pope. But all their proposals of that kind were constantly rejected.
But the Irish nobility and gentry were not quite so scrupulous in this respect; for in order to convince the Duke of Ormond, that the refusal of any number of their clergy should be no hindrance to their subscribing, in terminis, to the first remonstrance," they alsembled together at Lord Clanrickard's house in Dublin; where, after Lord Tyrconnel had declared, that their agreement' to, and concurrence in, that address, was wholly and solely their own act; that it was originally proposed by the Earls of Clancarty, Carlingford, and himself; and seconded, in very good earnest, by the Earl of Inchiquin, as many noblemen and gentlemen as were then present, and had not subscribed at London, in number thirty-three, put their names to it; which number being joined to the London subscribers, made, in all, one hundred and twenty-one, whereof twenty-one were earls, viscounts, i and barons."
Not content with this, they at the same time drew up a letter, praying and inviting the unanimous, chearful and speedy subscriptions of all the rest of the catholic noblemen and gentlemen of the kingdom. This letter was signed by the Earls of Castlehaven, Clans carty, Clanrickard, Fingall, Tyrconnel, and Carling. ford; and expressed « their hopes,' that the same prudential, christian, catholic, and obvious reasons, which had induced themselves to fign that remonstrance, would prevail upon them also to do the like, as these reasons imported no less than the clearing of their holy religion from the imputation of most unholy tenets ; the assuring his majesty ever more of their loyal thoughts, hearts and hands, in all contingencies whatsoever ; and the opening of a door to their own liberty and future ease, from those rigorous penal laws, under which they, and their predecessors, had sadly groaned during an hundred years past.
That as they hoped they could not think, they would even for these desirable ends, swerve in the least tittle from the true, pure, and unfeigned profession of the Roman catholic faith, nor from the reverence due unto his Holiness the Bishop of Rome, or the catholic church in general; so they believed, that they would rest satisfied, that nothing contained in this remonstrance reflected at all on the spiritual jurisdiction, power, or authority of the Pope, or church; the whole tenor of it asserting only the supreme temporal power in the prince to be independent of any but God alone, and the fidelity and obedience due to him in temporal affairs, to be indispensable by any power on earth, spiritual or civil.”
Two® and thirty copies of this letter (one for each county in the kingdom) were signed by these noble. men. “ And questionless," says Walsh,“ had they been sent away, as designed, the hands of all the catholic noblemen and gentlemen of Ireland would have been subscribed to the remonstrance, in less than fix months.” But the Duke of Ormond, who had been made acquainted with the drawing up and signing of this letter, affected to have it believed, that, as there was then lately discovered a plot of the fanatics to seize the castle of Dublin, if any papers were known to be carried about by catholics for getting subscriptions, their good intentions might be easily misinterpreted, and even a conspiracy imputed to them on that account; fo“ his grace was pleased,” says Walsh,"
to countermand, for that time, and to suspend ever since, the sending about of these letters, expecting it might be done more seasonably, when the clergy had signed first.”
: Walsh's Hift, of the Irish Remonft. f. 96.
9 Ib. f. 97.
с н А Р.
The Irish clergy's remonstrance of loyalty.
grace still persisting in his demand of a general and uniform subscription of all the Irish clergy to the remonftrance first delivered by Walsh (which he was privately assured, would not be obtained“), procured his majesty's consent, to suffer them to meet in a national synod at Dublin; which, notwithstanding its favourable appearance, he clearly foresaw, would only serve to increase those diffentions already sprung up among them, on that subject. For, notwithstanding all Walsh's prolix and learned harangues at this meeting, to prove the great expediency, and even absolute necessity, of their general compliance, the majority of the fynod still refused to subscribe to that particular address ; not, as they all declared, that they thought it contained any thing repugnant to the Roman catholic faith; nor yet, “ that they meant thereby to decline or disavow the substance of 'it; but because they be
One of the reasons, among many others, assigned by the non-subscribers, was, “ that none of either the laity or clergy who had subscribed, were more favoured, or more at liberty than others; the lay-proprietors not, therefore, restored to their eftates, though several of them could, besides, according to the laws, plead innocency; and all of them, public articles both of war and peace for their faid estates, and for the public and free exercise of their religion too.
" Nor were the clergy, who had subscribed, suffered to enjoy even one chapel, without daily hazards of imprisonments, and even men's lives, as appeared' by a late persecution, when both on St. Stephen's and new-year's day, in 1662, the chapel of the Franciscans in Dublin, who had been all subscribers, and wherein Walsh himself did officiate, was, by guards of soldiers and whole companies with naked fwords, assaulted, the altar rifled, the priests carried prisoners to Newgate, and many both men and women grievously hurt, some flashed and wounded sorely, even to the great endangering of their lives." Walth's Hift. of the Irish Remonft. f. 26.
lieved it more becoming the dignity of that meeting, and more respectful to his majesty and his grace, to present a remonstrance of their own framing, which, at the same time that it expreffed as much loyalty as the other, should be so unexceptionable, in point of language, that not only the bishops and other clergy there present, but
Roman catholic priest in the kingdom, both secular and regular, would chearfully subscribe it. Wherefore, after mature deliberation and debate, the following remonstrance of loyalty was drawn up and signed by this congregation; and, on the 16th of June, 1666,' delivered to the Duke of Ormond by two of their bishops, together with a petition, praying his grace to accept that remonstrance from them, and to present it to his majesty, the rather that it was so unanimously agreed to, as there was not one diffenting voice in all their number.”
“ To the king's most excellent majesty, Charles the
Second, king of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, &c. “ WE, your majesty's subjects, the Roman catholic clergy of the kingdom of Ireland together assembled, do hereby declare and solemnly protest, before God and his holy angels, that we own and acknowledge your majesty to be our true and lawful king, supreme lord, and undoubted sovereign, as well of this realm of Ireland as of all other your majesty's dominions ; consequently we confess ourselves bound in conscience, to be obedient to your majesty in all civil and temporal affairs, as any subject ought to be to his prince, and as the laws of God and nature require at our hands. Therefore we promise, that we will inviolably bear true allegiance to your majesty, your lawful heirs and fucceffors; and that no power on earth fhall be able to withdraw us from our duty herein ; and that we will, even to the loss of our blood, if occafion requires, assert your majesty's rights against any
1 Walsh's Hift. of the Irish Remonft. f. 683.