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of which showed themselves as ready to gratify the bigotry of Queen Mary as they had been to yield to the caprices of King Harry. But it is to be noted with satisfaction, that the persecuting spirit of the Queen was limited to the passing of those obnoxious statutes, and the restoring of Ireland to the authority of the Pope. The fires which consumed the martyrs burned in England alone ; and it is a pleasing fact that many English families, friends to the Reformation, fled into Ireland, and there enjoyed their opinions and worship in privacy, without notice or molestation.
Leland, however, in his History of Ireland, gives a popular story which was current in the subsequent reigns, by which it would appear that this tranquillity had, upon a notable occasion, been eminently menaced. The story is that Cole, Dean of St. Paul's, was sent into Ireland with a commission to the State, for proceeding against heretics with the utmost severity. At Chester, he showed his commission with great exultation in the presence of his hostess.
The good woman, who, it seems, was allied to Protestants, who had retired to Dublin, we are assured, was artful enough to steal the commission from the box in which it had been deposited. Cole proceeded on his voyage, appeared before the Irish Council, explained the Queen's intention; but, instead of his commission, presented a pack of cards substituted in its place. He retired in confusion; and the death of Mary prevented the renewal of his commission.
Queen Elizabeth is described by Mr. Froude as having been a magnificent girl. Under the persecutions of Mary, she was the hope of the English people. It had been intended and contrived to relieve her at an early age of the trouble of carrying her head upon her shoulders. The poetical prophecy
of Shakspeare over the cradle of the child was realised in after-life :
“ All princely graces
- Hen. VIII., Act v., Scene 3.
In Ireland, the instant the Irish chiefs felt no longer the firm hand of Henry, and found a girl upon the throne, they revolted. Plots, conspiracies, rebellions, wars, confiscations, followed each other in regular succession. Ireland was convulsedElizabeth was distracted—still she pursued fearlessly her mission, to plant and spread the laws, language, faith, and manners of England throughout this unhappy land.
The events of her illustrious reign are still felt in their glorious results throughout the world. She was surrounded by wise counsellors, brave captains, famous admirals, renowned statesmen. She rescued England, and nourished the young plant of the Reformation until it grew and bore fruit to perfection in the land. In Ireland, the statutes of Queen Mary were reversed; the statutes of King Henry were restored; the Protestant religion was established, and the Protestant worship confirmed. She restored the Earl of Kildare, his brother, and sister, to their blood; while an Act was passed for the attainder of Shane O'Neil, entitling the Crown to vast territories in Ulster. Some of her laws, as those against fraudulent conveyances, were not extended to Ireland till a subsequent reign. Barrington, upon the character of her laws, says—“I have perused her laws with attention, and, except the statute against fraudulent conveyances, I do not find any other of very great importance.” Sir John Davis asks, as to her Irish Parliament—" To what purpose did the Earl of Sussex hold his second Parliament in Ireland, but to establish the Reformed religion in this kingdom ?"
In the eleventh year of Elizabeth, (who reigned forty-five years), four Sessions of Parliament were held in Ireland; two in the twelfth, one in the thirteenth, another in the twenty-seventh, and the last in the twenty-eighth year of that reign. From this period, Parliaments were not convened in Ireland until the eleventh year of King James I. So that our forefathers lived for twenty-six years without feeling the power or the presence of a Parliament in Ireland.
Amongst the laws which the Parliament of Elizabeth passed in Ireland, there was one for the punishment of perjury; and another, more useful still, for the creation of free schools in every diocese in Ireland. But in those troublous times of our ancestors, it was not laws, but protection for their lives, and property, and religion, they required.
We have from the pen of a Mr. Hooker, who represented the important town of Athenry in the Parliament held by Sir Henry Sidney, in the eleventh year of Queen Elizabeth, a description of the method of proceeding at the opening of Parliament in our city three hundred years ago.
Mr. Hooker (a member of the House, and whose interesting memoir is given by Lord Mountmorris) says:
“On the first day of which Parliament, the Lord Deputy
was conducted and attended in a most honourable manner unto Christ's Church, and from thence unto the Parliament House, where he sat under the cloth of estate, being apparelled in princely robes of crimson velvet, doubled or lined with ermine. And then and there, the Lord Chancellor made a very eloquent oration, declaring what the law was.” And then, concluding with an exhortation of obedience and dutifulness, he ended, and the Court adjourned until Thursday next, the 20th of January.
He mentions a circumstance that proves the regular hours of past legislators, viz., “One of them rose up, and would have answered the party, but the time and day were so far spent above the ordinary hour, being well near two of the clock in the afternoon, that the Speaker and the Court rose up and departed.”
At this happy time, every knight was entitled to receive 13s. 4d. per day; the citizen member at first got the same pay; afterwards the city member was cut down to 10s., and the burgess to 3s. 4d. ; the allowance to begin from the first day of starting on the journey to Parliament. The House met, and fell to fighting furiously amongst themselves, “the more words, the more choler; the more speeches, the greater broils :" hatred of English members the cause. The Judges are called in to compose the confusion; they failed. At last business was allowed to proceed, and the English Orders, and rules for summoning and regulating Parliaments were presented and adopted. It is remarkable, that in this collection of the English Orders, which were presented by Mr. Hooker, and adopted by the Irish Parliament, there is not any form of oath prescribed which would exclude Dissenters or Roman Catholics from sitting in Parliament.
The reign of Elizabeth was celebrated for an event in which we all take the deepest interest—the foundation of the
University of Dublin. It was the glory of Alfred that he framed a code of laws rational and consistent that he founded and endowed the University of Oxford. It was the glory of Elizabeth that she, a lady and a queen, amidst the din of arms and the tumult of civil war, founded and endowed the University of Dublin. If all the friendless men of genius who since that hour have found a home within her walls could be here assembled, what a famous company would we not behold—of wits-scholars_authors-orators and statesmen !
Like our country, the University had her early struggles—her bitter mortifications—her many disappointments; but I hope I may live to say of that country as I can say of her—that if adversity has tried, it has strengthened her that if difficulties have checked her onward march, they have vanished—if her course was retarded, she now presses forward in her career of a noble utility. rable pile which faces the ancient Senate House, has schooled for the Senate the orator and patriot. From generation to generation she has been the wise and gentle preceptress of the youth of Ireland. From age to age she has been seen to hold high the lamp of knowledge, to illuminate or dispel the darkness of ignorance. Immortal truth has been taught by her divines since the hour Elizabeth founded the institution. The secrets of science have been by her inquisitive professors explored—discovered-proclaimed. The intellectual treasures of Greece and Rome have been unlocked and sharedmany a thirsty aspirant has drank without exhausting her Pierian spring. If she aspires to lead the mind of youth in this ancient kingdom, it is by no mean or vulgar arts. She invites all to study truth divine—she coerces none. All her influence is directed towards what is beautiful and good. Her ambition is satisfied when she heholds her sons practise virtue, pursue truth, shine before the world, and serve their