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On the assembling of this Parliament, the first business was to choose a speaker. The recusants, however, objected to this being done, until the validity of the return of certain members for boroughs, which had been created since the issue of the writs, had been determined. The Government candidate for the speakership was the subtle courtier, Sir John Davis, and the recusants put forward Sir John Everard. On a motion that the election of the speaker should precede all other business, the house divided, and the supporters of the Government went into the division lobby to be counted. Thereupon the recusant party refused to go into the other lobby, but shouted, "An Everard! An Everard !” and seated their candidate in the chair. The others, on being counted, numbered 127, a clear majority of the whole house, and rushed back into the chamber. Upon finding Everard installed in the chair, they indignantly demanded his withdrawal, and on his refusing, proceeded, amidst a scene of indescribable confusion, to seat Sir John Davis in his lap. Everard was then forcibly dragged from the chair, and the recusant party thereupon left the house in a body.

After this indecent scene, there was nothing to be done but to suspend the sittings of the house, and to refer the whole case to the king, and accept his decision. Accordingly, delegates from each party went over to England, and laid their respective views before his majesty. James found the case of the recusants upon the question of the invalid elections too strong to be ignored ; and after rating them well, in a long rambling

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oration, as incoherent as it was flippant, he cancelled thirteen of the returns, and confirmed the election of Sir John Davis to the speakership.

Parliament was assembled for business, and proceeded to pass an act of attainder

upon O'Neil, O'Donnel, O'Dogherty, and thirty gentlemen of Ulster, by which the forfeiture of their estates was confirmed. All Ireland was now subject to the king. The king's writ ran in every part of the island ; the king's courts went their complete circuits. Each shire had its sheriff; and the old Irish law had been everywhere superseded. It remained only to recognize all the inhabitants as the king's subjects, and formally admit the native Irish to the protection of the English law, in the eye of which until now they had been no more than outlaws. Accordingly, an act was passed repealing the old statutes which prohibited commerce, intermarriage, and fosterage between the two races, and extending the privileges and perils of the English system of jurisprudence to all the king's subjects alike. Notwithstanding all his manoeuvring, James considered he had got a stubborn Parliament. But stubborn though it may have been, it was loyal enough to grant him a substantial subsidy. II, 12 Jac. I., C. 4.

+ 11, 12 Jac. I., c. 5.

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CHAPTER XVI.

THE PLANTATION OF LEINSTER.

A.D. 1612-1625.

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JAMES was so pleased with the success of his plantation in Ulster, that he determined to apply the process of planting to the rest of Ireland. There had been no rising, no attempt at disturbance, so that the old excuse for confiscation was not available; it was necessary to invent a system of plundering by process of law to provide the wherewithal for the vain monarch to reconstruct the map of Ireland. "A commission to inquire into defective titles ” was sent down into those parts of the country with which it was determined to deal, to collect evidence as to the number and condition of the inhabitants and their lords, what rents were paid, and what and how estates were held; and to inquire into the title which the Crown had to any part thereof.

The countries which were still principally inhabited by the native Irish were, first, the mountainous strip which runs from Dublin towards Wexford Haven, sloping to the sea upon the east, and comprising the counties of Wicklow and Wexford; secondly, the broad belt of low country, then largely consisting of bog and forest, which skirts the great chain of lakes and rivers lying between Sligo on the north and Lough Derg on the south, and comprises the counties of Leitrim and Longford, and the western portions of Westmeath, King's County, and Queen's County. These tracts were still occupied, the one by the tribes of MacMurrough, O'Toole, and O'Byrne, and the other by those of O'Rourke, O'Farrel, O’Melaglin, O’Molloy, O'Doyne, and McGilpatrick.

It was gravely said that whereas these countries had been originally granted to English colonists in the days of the Plantagenets by the Crown, which had no right to make the grant, and these colonists had, in the evil days of the Anglo-Norman settlement, been driven from their land by the lawful native owners, and had retired into England; and further, that by various statutes concerning absentees, the deserted lands had reverted to the king--the native tribes now in occupation had no prescriptive right by virtue of three hundred years' possession of what was after all their own property, and that the whole of the land was vested in James. Leitrim and Longford had been surrendered by the O'Rourke and O'Farrel of that day to Elizabeth, and subsequent acts of rebellion were sufficient to show the king's title in these cases, while Art McMurrough's indenture with Richard II., in A.D. 1394, was raked up to do duty for a title to Wexford.

To give an appearance of legality to these iniquitous proceedings, juries were empannelled, and forced to give verdicts in favour of the Crown ; witnesses were compelled to give satisfactory evidence; and both jurors and witnesses, if they had the boldness to withstand the pressure of the Crown lawyers, were hauled before the Castle Chamber, imprisoned, pilloried, and branded.

Even the Anglo-Irish did not escape the inquisitorial scrutiny. Wherever land could be proved forfeit, so it went, by every low trick and legal artifice that could be practised. It became a regular trade to pick holes in people's titles; every trifling flaw that could be hit upon was carefully noted. The old pipe rolls in Dublin were scanned, and the patent rolls in the Tower of London were searched, to discover ancient rents reserved and unpaid ; discrepancies between the patents passed in Ireland and the king's warrant transmitted from England; prior grants or invalid grants; even clerical errors, trivial informalities, and inaccurate terms. Onc of the principal motives for these proceedings was the replenishing of the royal exchequer. If a flaw could be found in a man's title, he could be frightened into accepting a fresh patent upon the terms of his paying a round sum by way of a composition. If he refused, the land could be granted to some one else at an annual quit-rent, the enterprising “ projector” or “ discoverer” sharing the plunder with the king. And so the game sped merrily.

Sixty-six thousand eight hundred acres were in this way declared to be vested in the king in Wexford alone, and in the midland counties no less than 385,000. The ancient proprietors were required to sign submissions and surrenders of their land; and then, after setting apart a sufficient and convenient portion for glebes, schools, forts, and corporate towns, and a fourth part of

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