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country. No schemes of party-no smiles of the great—no frowns of power—no whisper of faction—no false promise--no corrupt inducements, can there prevail to hide the genius which is struggling to develop untried powers. The republic of learned men levels all distinctions, and only acknowledges the supremacy of intellect and worth.
Behold the infancy—the growth—the maturity of this great national institution !
The design of founding a college in St. Patrick's Cathedral, as expressed by Sir John Perrott, the Deputy, in his letter to the Lord Treasurer of England, is significant of the state of Dublin at that time :
“That whereas there is no place for the courts of law save only an old hall in the Castle of Dublin, dangerously placed over the munition of powder ; that the Cathedral of St. Patrick, being spacious and large, would sufficiently serve for all the several courts; and there being a want of a storehouse for grain and other provisions, and no fit place for it, whereby the waste in victualling is the greater ; that the Canon's house environing the church ought aptly serve for an inn of court to bestow the judges and lawyers in, in exchange for which their inns of court, lying commodiously over the river and near the bridge for loading and unloading, might as aptly serve for a storehouse and granary. That there being two cathedrals in Dublin; this being dedicated to St. Patrick, and the other to the name of Christ; that St. Patrick's was had in more superstitious reputation than the other, and therefore ought to be dissolved. That the revenues of St. Patrick (4,000 marks per annum) would serve to begin the foundation of two universities, and endow a couple of colleges in them, with one hundred pound per annum a-piece, and the residue may be employed in the reparation of said church and houses, and be annexed unto Christ Church by way of augmentation of the choir.”
Finally, the Corporation of the city granted what was the ancient Monastery of All Souls, and the lands adjoining, for the purpose of the foundation. In 1591 the letters patent passed, by which, first, a college was appointed to be erected, to be the mother of an university, in a certain place called All Hallows, near Dublin, for the education, institution and instruction of youth in the arts and faculties—TO ENDURE FOR EVER. Second, its name was given, and it was added—“A Serenissimâ Regina Elizabethâ fundatum.”
On the 13th March, 1591, the Lord Mayor laid the foundation stone with great solemnity. On the 9th January, 1593, the first students were admitted. Elizabeth, by her strong arm, saved the feeble institution from ruin. She left her example to James I. He loved learning, and therefore loved our College, and added largely to its endowments. Subsequent sovereigns trod in their footsteps, and emulated their example. The Parliament of Ireland frequently aided munificently the University with grants of public money ; learned men founded exhibitions and professorships; and so the seed, sown in storm and rain, felt the sunshine, and grew up to flower and bear fruit.
There is written, I believe, by my late dear and lamented friend, the Rev. Dr. Mortimer O'Sullivan, in the Dublin University Magazine, a narrative of the foundation of the Library in the University of Dublin. It is deserving your perusal, as also is the history of the University itself, written by Mr. Taylor. A beautiful episode in the history of sanguinary wars, rebellions, and confiscations, is afforded by the origin of the magnificent Library which you now behold, and behold to admire. The army of Queen Elizabeth had subdued every foe, expelled the Spaniards from Kinsale, and reduced Ireland to obedience. That same army then resolved to leave behind them a memorial which might be lasting, of their love and admiration for the kingdom they
had conquered. They practised war, but they preferred the nobler arts of peace. These heroic men collected nigh £2,000—a vast sum in those days—and placed it in the hands of Ussher, to be applied towards the acquisition of a Library for the University of Dublin. Ussher fell in with Bodley, then in London, making purchases for that institution called the Bodleian Library of Oxford ; being deep scholars and enlightened men, they co-operated, and by their joint labours a great work was accomplished, the result of which is that Library of our beloved University which you now behold. The British army have achieved many a gallant feat of arms ; but such a feat as this no army I ever read of did before. All honour to its memory. The library of Ussher, purchased by Cromwell, was afterwards added by the Parliament of Ireland to the noble collection.
In 1614 the University obtained political rank. The privilege of returning two members was bestowed upon it. How they exercised that privilege in times past, the country may decide. Sir William Temple, Sir James Ware, Molyneux the patriot, Sir Archibald Acheson, Tisdall, Laurence Parsons, W. H. Burgh, and others, upheld the fame of the University and the rights of their country. Plunket was named by Bushe, “ The Wellington of the Senate,” and spoke on his peculiar subjects with matchless eloquence and powerCroker left a high name in the annals of literature and politics.
The educated sons of our University are now in distant quarters of the world, occupying high posts, which they have won by their abilities against honourable competition ; and, oh! happy omen, she is now governed by a native nobleman, who, like his race, unites a love of country with a zeal for science, and thinks it not incompatible with his rank and with his duty to prefer for himself and his descendants the University of Dublin, to the more distant establishments of Oxford and of Cambridge.
Irish Parliament in James I.'s reign-Sir J. Davis's Speech on his Election as Speaker-His Testimony in favour of the Irish–First Assizes in Tyrone-Policy and Success of the Great Plantation of Ulster-Public Characters who figured in this age.
ELIZABETH's work of conquest was complete; the work of reconciliation was now to commence.
The journals of the House of Commons of Ireland begin on the 18th of May, 1613. A Parliament was summoned, but, in comparison with former Irish Parliaments, how was it constituted and strengthened ? I must allow Sir John Davis to speak, from his honoured grave, the words of truth and wisdom. On his appointment as Speaker of the Commons, the 2nd May, 1613, in his speech to the Lord Deputy, he says:
“And now, by way of comparison, it may easily appear unto your lordship how much this first Parliament, now begun under the blessed government of our most gracious King James, is like to excel all former Parliaments, as well in respect of the cause and time of calling it, as of the persons that are called unto it. For this Parliament (God be blessed) is not called to repel an invasion, or to suppress a rebellion, or to reduce degenerate subjects to their obedience. It is not summoned to pass private bills only, or to serve private towns, or for any one special service for the Crown, though such have been the occasions and causes of calling
the most part of the former Parliaments. But now, since God hath blessed the whole island with an universal peace and obedience, together with plenty, civility, and other felicities, more than it ever enjoyed in any former age, this general Council of the whole realm is called now principally to confirm and establish these blessings unto us, and to make them perpetual to our posterities.” Again : “It is not called in such a time as when the four shires of the Pale only did send their barons, knights, and burgesses to the Parliament, when they alone took upon them to make laws to bind the whole kingdom, neglecting to call the subjects residing in other parts of the realm unto them, as appeareth by that Parliament holden by Viscount of Gormanston, which Sir Edward Poynings, in the tenth year of King Henry VII., caused to be utterly repealed, and the Acts thereof made void, chiefly for that the summons of Parliament went forth to the four shires of the Pale only, and not unto all the rest of the counties. But it is called in such a time, when all Ulster and Connaught, as well as Leinster and Munster, have voices in Parliament by their knights and burgesses ; when all the inhabitants of the kingdom, English of birth, English of blood, the new British colony and the old Irish natives, do all meet together, to make laws for the common good of themselves and their posteritieś.
“Lastly : this Parliament is called in such a time when all the Lords Spiritual and Temporal do acknowledge the King of England to be their undoubted patron. In a word, Sir Edward Poynings, in the time of King Henry VII., and Lionel, Duke of Clarence, in Edward III.'s time, if they could have seen but half such an assembly in their Parliaments, would have thought themselves happy and highly honoured; and yet those Parliaments, holden by them, are the most famous Parliaments that have been formerly holden in this kingdom.”