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ed Chichester blameless,' and told them they had been guilty of little short of rebellion, in their apu plication to him for redress. It is remarkable that in this speech the King says, “ 'There is a double “ cause why I should be careful of the welfare of o the people : first, as King of England, by reason “ of the long possession the Crown of England “ hath had in that land ; and also, as King of “ Scotland ; for the ancient Kings of Scotland ,
are descended from the Kings of Ireland ; so “ as I have an old title as King of Scotland, there“ fore you shall not doubt to be relieved when you “ complain, so as you will proceed without cla“mours.”—(See the entire of James's speech in Desiderat. Car. Hibern. vol I. p, 502 to 312.)
To trace the disputes between the Roman Catholic party, on the one side, and the Protestant party, headed by Chichester, and backed by the King, on the other side, relative to the election of a Speaker to the House of Commons, and other matters, would be irrelevant to the design of this publication, which is merely intended to shew, that at no time before the reign of William III. were the Cathclics deprived of their right to sit in Parliament. We shall therefore refer those who may be desirous to be more fully informed on the nature of these disputes, and the proceedings thereon, to the authority last quoted, from page 155 to page 430, inclusive.
But though the Catholics were not deprived by James of their right to sit in Parliament, they were deprived of other valuable privileges, to which they were as fairly entitled. * This year all the " Counsellors of Law that were in Ireland, who it would not take the Oath of Supremacy, were put “ from pleading of causes in any of the four “ Courts, or elsewhere to speak for any clients. “ Likewise such as were pensioners, that would not
" take the said Oath,, were discharged of their pensi sions."-(Desiderat. Cur. (p. 320-1.) But whatever colour of pretence there might be for depriving the latter of their pensions, there was certainly nothing but the arbitrary mandate of the King, or rather of those who governed Ireland in his name, to justify the depriving of the Irish Lawyers of the benefits of their profession ; for neither the Statute of Supremacy, nor any other Statute of force in Ireland, commanded such persons to take the Oath prescribed by that Act.
Notwithstanding the disputes in the Parliament of 1613, the members, and particularly those of the Catholic religion, were forward in voting the necessary supplies for the support of the State, although from their numbers, and the extent of their estates, the proportion of the subsidies, paid by the Catholics, would by far exceed that of all the rest of his Majesty's subjects in Ireland. This seemed to have interested the King in their favour for when he understood the manner in which the supplies had been voterd, he wrote a letter to the Lord Deputy, and ordered it to be publicly read in the House, and 5 commanded him to give them " thanks, in his name, and to let them know that “ he was much better pleased with the free manner
of that present of their affections unto him, than “ if they had given him ten times the value of the
money with unwilling hearts."-(Commons Journals, vol. I. p. 45, 47.)
But the King soon forgot the occasion that called forth his thanks, for upon the appointment of Sir Oliver Saint John, in 1616, to be Lord Deputy of Ireland, the fines for not going to Church were .Figorously enforced ; and : on the 15th October, 1617, a new Proclamation was issued against the Popish Clergy. These severities were continued against the Catholics, while Saint John remained in office as Lord Deputy, and from the time of the appointment of his successor, Lord Falkland, until the death of James, on the 27th March, 1625. But notwithstanding these persecutions, no attempt was made in all this reign to deprive the Catholics of their right of sitting in both Houses of Parliament.
On the death of James, his son Charles I. ascended the throne of England; and for the first two or three years of his reign, the Catholics of Ireland were not quite so grievously persecuted as in the latter end of his father's days. The King seemed to feel for the sufferings of the Irish people, but the bigotry of Falkland, his Lord Deputy, and those associated with him in the adininistration of the Government of Ireland, counteracted in a great degree the apparently kind intentions of the Monarch. We are told by Mr. Grainger, in bis Biographical History of England, vol. 11. p. 147, that Falkland's “strict, though legal administra“ tion, in regard to the Papists, whom the Court
was inclined to favour, raised the loudest cla
mours against him from that party, who caused “ him to be dismissed from his Viceroyalty, with “ some circumstances of disgrace."
In the year 1626, England was involved in a war with the two most powerful Kings in Europe, undertaken at the instigation of the English Parliament; but it was with much reluctancy that they voted scanty supplies to the King,, to carry on the war for the national honour. In this perplexity of his affairs, the King was obliged to have recourse to some extraordinary powers, incident to the royal authority, which created a great clamour against him, amongst his loyal subjects of England, and their friends in Ireland. The Roman Catholics of Ireland on the contrary, freely came forward, and offered constantly to pay an army of five thousand foot and five hundred horse, for his Majesty's service, provided they might be tolerated in the exercise of their religion.-(Sir Edw. Walker's Hist. Discourses, fol. 377.)-The toleration they required, was merely an abatement of the oppressions and extortions of the Ecclesiastical Courts; to have all proceedings against them in these Courts suspended; to be released from those exorbitant sums which they were obliged to pay for christenings and marriages, and to have the extravagant surplice-fees of the clergy abolished. To this reasonable proposal the Court lent a favourable ear; but the Protestant Archbishops and Bishops became alarmed for the loaves and fishes, and on the 26th of November, 1626, twelve of them assembled at the house of Archbishop Usher, and drew up a " Judgment concerning “ toleration of Religion.” which sets out with declaring, that “ The Religion of the Papists is
superstitious and idolatrous; their faith and doc“ trine erroneous and heretical; their Church, in “respect to both, Apostatical : To give them,
therefore, a toleration, or to consent that they
may freely exercise their religion, and profess “ their faith and doctrine, is a grievous sin............. “ To grant them a toleration in respect of any
money to be given, or contribution to be made " by them, is to set Religion to sale, and with it “ the souls of the people, whom Christ our Saviour “ hath redeemed with his most precious blood.”— (For this, and the rest of this Document, see Coxe's Hibernia Anglicana, or History of Ireland, folio, London, 1690, part II. p. 43.
This, and a Remonstrance from the House of Commons in England, put a stop to the intended concessions to the Catholics, for that time. But the exigencies of the King were now so great, that it was necessary he should procure money, by some means, since his English Parliament refused to grant him supplies. It was therefore thought reasonable that, “because the Irish Agents, in “ England, did consent to the payment of 120,0001. « in three years...... .that the King should signify “ his gracious acceptance thereof, by conferring “ some extraordinary favours on the Agents, and • contributors......... And therefore the King did on " the 24th day of May, grant them the following “ Graces, which were transmitted to Ireland, by
way of Instructions to the Lord Deputy and « Council.”—(Ibiú, p. 44.)
These Graces were proclaimed by Falkland shortly after they had been received by him ; but it would appear that they were withheld from those for whose benefit they were principally intended. And Wentworth, who succeeded Lord Falkland as Deputy, and his Council of Ireland, advised the King to retrench those Graces, though the Commons House of Parliament, which sat in Dublin, in 1634, recommended that they should have the sanction of Law. The Graces at large, with the Request of the Commons, and the advice of the Lord Deputy and Council of Ireland, concerning that Request are to be found, printed in three parallel columns, in Strafford's State Letters, vol. I. p. 312, &c.-(For Falkland's Proclamation, see the subjoined DOCUMENTS, No. 2, Page 3.And for the Grace that dispenses with the Oath of Supremacy, see No. 3, Page 4.)