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o a magistrate of the county. His appointment was made pursuant to the system which administration had even then adopted, of associating into the commission of the peace many military | officers, quartered in what it conceived to be unfriendly places. - It did so without any regard to habitual residence, to local connexions, or fortune, and without any view to their interfering in the ordinary duties of the office; but merely to elude the ancient provisions of the law, requiring that the army, whenever called - out to act, should be under the direction and controul of a civil officer. The general's claim was therefore peremptorily refused by the committee, who insisted that by magistrates were meant such as had some stability and property in the county, not ephe4 meral agents, constituted only because they were military men, for a time stationed in the district. In consequence of this delay, one division of the volunteers, apprehending that matters would come to extremities, moved from its parade, and took post in the exchange. This general White soon perceived, and sent his aid-de-camp, captain Bourne, to the sovereign, then, presiding at the committee, to demand the keys of the market 4. house in his majesty's name, as the volunteers had taken the strongest position in the town, and he insisted on having the second. Some of the committee, not apprised of the move| ment of the volunteers, said it was only a guard which was | placed in the exchange. “I know it is not a guard,” replied | k the aid-de-camp, “I have just examined it by order of Gen. t “ White, and the area is a grove of bayonets, I therefore de“ mand in the king's name the keys of the market-house.” o The sovereign answered that the market-house did not belong to him ; that he was then in the midst of the magistrates and f

principal inhabitants of the town, and would be guided only
by them; the keys were therefore withheld.

At length, at about seven o’clock, the committee and the general met. The general demanded that the volunteers should

disperse, as a preliminary to the conference. This was refused
by

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38 PIECES OF

by the committee, on the ground that these corps had assem-
bled merely as a precautionary measure of defence, and that
when they were satisfied as to the safety of persons and pro-
perty, their members would immediately repair to their homes.
The general complained that he was in an irksome situation, and
knew not well what to do. He could not enter into terms
which would appear as a compromise, or rather a capitulation on
the part of his majesty’s troops; but he would answer for the
safety of the town and the discipline of the dragoons. To this
it was replied, that if the outrage was merely a mutinous excess.
of the men, contrary to their orders, it was impossible for the
general to answer that it would not again occur; his pressing
such responsibility would rather confirm the suspicion that the
violence had been sanctioned by authority, and that his absence
the fight before was not merely accidental: in short, that
there was only one way of allaying all apprehensions, and that
was to remove the dragoons. To this at length the general ac-
ceded, and a written agreement was entered into, wherein he
pledged himself publicly and personally, for the safety of the
inhabitants during the night, and that the troops should be
removed next morning. To this agreement the sovereign signed
his name as a witness, and upon its being communicated to the
volunteers, they instantly dispersed. The dragoons were accord-
ingly removed, and not afterwards replaced by any other corps.
Whether that agreement was considered, what general White.
apprehended it would be, a “capitulation on the part of his
majesty's troops,” it is not easy to say; but he did not long
continue in the command of that district, ->

That was the last effort of the volunteers; for shortly after. wards government expressly commanded that every assemblage of that body should be prevented by military force : and a review of some country corps at Doah, in the county of Antrim, having been previously fixed upon for some few days after, the

army was marched out of Belfast, on the very morning of the review,

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review, to meet and dipore them. But the volunteers having been fortunately apprized of these steps, were able to guard against the melancholy consequences that might have ensued, and entirely avoided assembling.

The catholic bill having at last found its way through the forms of parliament, and received the royal assent, the general committee again met on the 25th of April. After expressing its thankfulness to the king for his interposition on behalf of its constituents, and voted some substantial and honorable proofs of

its gratitude to individuals who had laboured in the catholic

cause, it directed its attention towards one of the most degrading and deleterious consequences of the lately repealed popery laws; and appointed a committee to consult, communicate and correspond upon the means of procuring an improved system of edu

cation for the catholic youth of Ireland. The general commit

tee further signalised itself by marking, in its last moments, its attachment to the entirely unaccomplished object for which the

protestant reformers were so anxious. It “ most earnestly

“exhorted the catholics of Ireland to co-operate with their

“ protestant brethren, in all legal and constitutional means to

“carry into effect that great measure, recognised by the wis

“dom of parliament, and so essential to the freedom, happi“ness and prosperity of Ireland, a reform of the representation “of the people in the commons house.” Having done this, it dissolved itself: since, by the restoration of the elective franchise, the catholics of Ireland were enabled to speak individually the language of freemen, and that they no longer wished to be considered as a distinct body of his majesty's subjects— Glad as the government was at the quiet dissolution of this

committee, it was deeply offended at their valedictory resolution.

- Public attention however was now occupied by the distresses of traders and manufacturers, particularly in the cotton line, who were reduced to great embarrassments by the first conse

quences

60 PIECES OF

quences of the war. Their warehouses were overstocked with goods, which they were unable to send to any market; they therefore became incompetent to answer the demands for which they were responsible, and the workmen were reduced to the greatest distress for want of employment. The immediate pressure of this calamity was wisely removed, and credit greatly restored by advances from government, to such persons as could deposit goods to a sufficient amount, or produce equivalent security. The sum of £200,000 was entrusted to the management of commissioners, who granted out of it, to the different claim

ants, such sáms as they judged necessary.

The country was also distracted by risings in many places to resist the execution of the militia law. The people in almost every county opposed the ballotting, and sometimes ventured to resist the regular forces that were brought against them. In the county of Wexford particularly, the insurgents attempted to attack the chief town, in order to liberate some prisoners from the goal; and in the conflict, Major Vallotin, who commanded the army, was killed. By allowing, however, that enlisted men should be taken, and substitutes found; by making some provision for the families of those who were drawn by lot; but still more by the constant and vigilant interposition of military force, re

sistance to the measure was gradually subdued.

Another instance of opposition to government occurred, where it was scarcely expected; in the month of June, at the annual meeting of the Synod of Ulster; a body consisting of the whole dissenting clergy of the north, and the presbytery of Dublin, together with a lay delegate from each parish. Notwithstanding a recent addition to the regium donum supposed to be given to obtain their influence against the union of sects, this body in its address to the king, expressed its dislike of the war, and its satisfaction at the admission of catholics to the privileges of the

constitution.

Far

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*

* IRISH HISTORY. 61

Far from the same ungrateful nature, was an address with which the lord lieutenant was honoured by the bishops of the long oppressed and reluctantly enfranchised religion. Their effusion of thankfulness did not confine itself to mere panegyric on his administration: it virtually contradicted many of those charges which had been preferred by the laity of the same persuasion. It applauded that spirit of conciliation by which it is said his excellency’s government was eminently characterised, and went, by implication, to sever the union of the sects. Its compliments were not very consistent with the further pursuits of freedom, and its candour was conspicuous in the approval of the manner by which defenderism had been suppressed, and in deploring that the majority coneerned in that unhappy system of infatuation were of their religion. The indignation and astonishment which this address excited among the catholic laity, can be easily conceived. It seemed called for by no particular occasion. It was clandestinely conducted, and even remained a profound secret until after it had been some days delivered. It was a violation of solemn declarations which those very prelates had made from time to time, amounting to the fullest assurances that they would never take a step of a political nature, but in conjunction with the laity. It was also generally considered as an unprincipled coalition with those who exhausted every effort in resisting the claims of the catholics, and whose intolerance compelled that body to look upon them in no other light than that of enemies. But it was not without an object. The persons to whom the general committee entrusted the formation of a plan for the education of the youth of their religion, had made considerable progress. After several meetings in the early part of the summer, they had agreed to these general principles: that the plan, while it embraced the catholic youth, should not exclude those of any other persuasion; that it should depend on the people for its support, and be subject to the joint controul of the clergy and laity. They had, by correspondence with different parts of the kingdom, assured themselves that *. L * there

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