Page images

the wild and extravagant efforts of rafh and ignorant peasants, but a dark and deep-laid scheme, planned by men skilled in the law and the artifices by which it might be evaded. Such men suggested to the farmers, to enter into a combination under the sanction of an oath, not to take their rythes, or to assist any clergyman in drawing them.

“ Some of the Protestant gentlemen hoping to ex. onerate their estates of tythes, by the machinations and enormities of these traitors, secretly encouraged them; and others connived at their excesses, till they began to oppose the payment of rent, and the recovery of money by legal process; and then they came forward in fupport of the Law.

“A form of a fummons to the clergy to draw their tythe, penned with legal accuracy, was printed at Cork, and circulated with great diligence through many parts of Munster. In order to make the combination universal, fome of the most active and intelligent members of it administered oaths to all the lower class of people, at the Romish Chapels and markettowns.

To varnish over the knavery and turpitude of their. designs, they published a tything-table, according to which they pretended that they would pay the clergy; but to which they did not adhere; and, if they had done fo, it would not have afforded them a subsistence. Besides, by swearing not to hire horses to them, and by a great number of them combining to sever the tythe, and draw their corn, on the same day, they completely robbed them of their property; and the Protestant clergy would actually have starved, but that an A&t of Parliament passed in the year 1787, to enable them to

2 C4



recover the tythes of which they had been defrauded in this manner.

“ At last, the Protestant clergy in the County of Cork were so inuch intimidated by the menaces and insults which they received from them, that many were obliged to fly to the City of Cork for protection. These traitors soon proceeded from one act of violence to another, and established such a system of terror, that landlords were afraid to distrain for rent, or to sue by civil process for money due by note. They took arms from Protestants, and levied money to buy ammunition. Tbey broke open goals, set fire to hay and corn, and even to houses, especially to those occupied by the army. At last they had the audacity to threaten the Cities of Limerick and Cork, and the Town of Ennis, the capital of Clare, with famine ; and took measures to prevent farmers and fishermen from conveying supplies of provisions to them. They proceeded by such a regular system, that they established a kind of post-office, for communication, by which they conveyed their notices with celerity for the purpose of forming their meetings, which were frequent and numerous.

“ This spirit of riot and insurrection occasioned the paffing of a law in the year 1787, drawn by the present lord Clare, entitled, “ An Act to prevent tumultuous risings and assemblies, and for the more effectual punishment of persons guilty of outrage, riot, and illegal combination, and of administering and taking unlaw. fal oaths;" and in the formation of that law, he thewed the same political wisdom, and firmness of mind, which he evinced on all subsequent occasions. By that law Government were empowered to raise an armed police in any county they chofe; and the introdu&ion of it into the Counties of Kilkenny, Tipperary, Cork, and Kerry, occafioned such a revolution in the morals and manners of their inhabitants, and was so efficient in preserving social order, that some of the principal landholders in them declared openly in Parliament, that their estates N. B were encreased two years purchase in value by that salutary statute.


“ An ingenious foreigner observed to me, that he never saw a country in which so many proclamations were issued against malefactors, and the commission of crimes, as in Ireland; a sure proof of the feeble execution of the laws!

• At last, Doctor Woodward, Bishop of Cloyne, of Dr. fhocked and alarmed at seeing his clergy driven from ward, Bitheir houses to the City of Cork, whither they went shop of

Cloync. for an asylum, and that a conspiracy was formed for the destruction of the Protestant Church, wrote a very able pamphlet, stating the origin and progress of the insurrection in Munster, hoping thereby to rouse Governinent to lake measures for its defence.

“Nothing marked so strongly the depravity of the times, as the malignant attacks, attended with scurrility and abuse, which were made on this amiable prelate, for this seasonable and spirited discharge of his pastoral duty. I had the honour of being well acquainted with him, and I never knew a person more profoundly and elegantly learned, or so well versed, not only in every thing that concerned the ecclefiaftical department, but in the various duties of every line of social life. Having visited every part of the Continent, he spoke the modern languages with great fluency and purity, and had uncommon ease and affability of manner.

« Не

“ He had the most exalted piety, and was not only very charitable himself, but an active promoter of publick charities. His eloquence in the pulpit was irresistible, as his style was nervous and elegant; his voice was loud and harmonious, and he had great dignity of manner.

“ With all these exalted qualities and endowments, he poffefsed the most brilliant wit, and such a happy vein of humour, as enlivened society wherever be happened to be.

“ This neceffary and important duty, the negle&t of which would have been criminal, drew on him a host of foes, consisting of Popish Bishops, Priests, Friars, and Presbyterian Ministers, who abused and vilified him with singular malignity; and even some Members of Parliament had the hardened audacity to arraign him with much severity.

“ This amiable prelate made a most eloquent speech in support of the privileges granted to the Roman-Catholicks in the year 1782.

“This spirit of insurrection spread over most parts of Munster. The conspirators bound each other by oath to resist the laws of the land, and to obey none but those of Captain Right; and so ftri&tly did they adhere to them, that the High Sheriff of the County of Waterford * could not procure a person to execute the sentence of the law on one of these miscreants who was condemned to be whipped at Carrick-onSuir, though he offered a large sum of moncy for that purpose. He was therefore under the neceffity of performing that duty himself, in the face of an enraged mob.

• The writer of these pages was High Sheriff at that time.


After this long, but, I trust, not uninteresting extract from Sir Richard Musgrave's Memoirs of the Rebellions in Ireland, I return to the permission which the King's Ministers of State in April, 1766, gave, by connivance, to Mr. Oliver Briand, a Roman-Catholick Priest of the Province of Quebeck, to go to France in order to be consecrated as Bishop of that Province, and then to return to Quebeck, and exercise his epis. copal functions in that Province; which permission was at that time reported to have been obtained from the Marquis of Rockingham by the advice and influence of Mr. Edmund Burke. The only argument I hear'a alledged at that time in defence of that measure, was to the following effect; “ That, since, by the Capitu“lation which Sir Jeffery Amherst granted to the Mar“ quis of Vaudreuil, the French Governour of Canada, “ in September, 1760, when that country was surren“ dered to the British arms, and by the subsequent “ceffion of it to the Crown of Great Britain by the 66 Treaty of Peace, figned at Paris, in February, 1763, - it had been stipulated that the worship prescribed “ by the Roman-Catholick Religion should be tolerated " in the Province, and that the Roman Catholick “ inhabitants should be permitted to assemble in their “ Churches and Chapels to hear Mass, and receive " the Sacraments of the Romish Religion, as hereto“ fore, it was necessary not only to permit the Ro. - man-Catholick Priests that were then in the Province u to continue to officiate in the said Churches and “ Chapels without any molestation, but to permit other

« Priests,

« PreviousContinue »