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was, and continued till the Union to be an independent kingi dom. This singular epoch, therefore, of the Irish history fur: nishes the most simple demonstration of the necessity of an incorporate union, and exposes the monstrous anomaly of several independent kingdoms under one sovereign. ... .
Ireland now again exhibited a gloomy scene of oppression, dejection, insolence, and despair ; of power exercised without decency, and injuries sustained without redress. That English interest, which princes and statesmen had laboured to establish in this country, was discouraged, depressed, and threatened with final extirpation.
The enterprise of the prince of Orange against England was yet a secret to James when Tyrconnel received intelligence of his design from Amsterdam, and conveyed it to the king, who received it with derision. The Irish catholics, conceiving themselves subjects of king James, at first affected to despise the prince of Orange and his attempts; but they soon learned the rapidity of his successes in England, that king James was deserted of his subjects, and that the revolution every day gained new adherents. The distracted state of this unhappy kingdom can scarcely be described. The protestants in the north in the year sixteen hundred and eighty-eight proclaimed William and Mary, which, by Tyrconnel and the catholics, was deemed an act of rebellion. An army was formed of about thirty thousand men, and officered chiefly with catholics. James, who was then at the court of Louis XIV., gave constant assurances that he would come to Ireland and head them in person. He accordingly sailed from Brest with a strong armament, having on board twelve hundred men of his own adherents, who were then in the pay of France, and one hundred French officers, and landed at Kinsale in March sixteen hundred and eighty-nine : from thence he proceeded to Dublin, where he was received as king with great pomp and solemnity. He issued five several proclamations, by the last of which he summoned a parliament to meet at Dublin on the seventh day of May; which did meet, and sat from that day to the twelfth of July, and then adjourned to the twelfth of November following
After these acts the scene changed to open warfare. The reduction of the protestants in the north who had declared for William was the first object of the attention of Janies, who de termined to march to Derry; and appear in person before their walls. The defenders of Derry and Enniskillen supported the cause of the revolutionists against James's forces till the arrival of an English army of forty thousand men under count Schomberg, which was afterwards commanded by William in person.
Ireland at this time, exhausted by unhappy wars, could not supply James with the money necessary for his purposes, and among the acts of his short reign in that kingdom there was one which has fixed a peculiar odium upon his character. In defiance of law, reason, and humanity, he siezed the tools and engines of one Moore, who by virtue of a patent of the late king enjoyed the right of copper coinage in Ireland, and established a mint in Dublin and Limerick. Brass and copper of the basest kind, old cannon, broken bells, household utensils, were assiduously collected ; and from every pound weight of such vile materials, valued at four-pence, pieces were coined and circulated to the amount of five pourds in nominal value. By the first proclamation they were made current in all payments to and from the king and the subjects of the realm, excepting the duties on importation of foreign goods, money lent in trust, or due by mortgages, bills, or bonds; and James promised, that when this money should be called in, he would receive it in all payments, or make full satisfaction in gold or silver. His soldiers were now paid in this coin, it was forced on the protestant traders, the nominal value was raised by subsequent proclamations, the original restrictions were removed, and this base money was ordered to be received in all kinds of payments. As brass and copper grew scarce, it was made of still viler materials, of tin and pewter. It was obtruded on the protestants with many circumstances of insolence and cruelty. Old debts of one thousand pounds were discharged with old pieces of vile metal, amounting to thirty shillings in intrinsic value. Attempts were made to purchase gold and silver at immoderate rates with the brass money: but this was strictly forbidden on pain of death; and when protestants attempted to exonerate themselves of these heaps of coin by purchasing the staple commodities of the kingdom, James by proclamation set
a rate on these commodities, demanding them at this rate, returning his brass on the proprietors, and with all the meanness of a trader exported them to France. It appeared indeed in the end, that James was the only gainer by this iniquitous project, and that in the final course of circulation his own party became possessed of the greatest part of this adulterated coin, just at the time when William had power to suppress it.
William arrived at Carrickfergus attended by prince George of Denmark, the young duke of Ormond, and others. His military genius prompted him, and the distracted state of England, together with the formidable preparations of France, obliged him, to a vigorous prosecution of the war; and when some cautious councils were suggested by his officers, he rejected them with indignation. “I came not to Ireland,” said he,“ to let the grass grow under my feet.”
Six days had elapsed from the time of William's landing, when James received the first intelligence that a prince, who he. confidently believed must be detained in England by faction and discontent, was already on his march to meet him. To particularise the events of this civil war, would far exceed our proposed limits : the battle of the Boyne, which was fought on the first of July sixteen hundred and ninety, turned the scale of the kingdom: there William, although he commanded a considerable superiority of forces, attended to the duties of a vigilant, steady, and intrepid general : he shared the danger of his army, encouraging it by his presence and example, even after he had been wounded, and had been pressed by his officers to retire ; whilst James stood secure at a distance, a quiet spectator of the contest for his crown; so fearful of his enemy, or so diffident of himself or his troops, that his chief concern and preparation before the battle were to secure his personal retreat. He fled with precipitancy to Dublin, and from thence to Waterford, where a frigate was ready to convey him back to France ; leaving the beaten relics of his army to make the best stand against the enemy, and procure from him the best terms their personal bravery would entitle them to. The Irish army under Tyrconnel and Sarsfield made a very vigorous resistance against a superior well disciplined army acting under the first general in Europe, until they surrendered the town of Lime
rick, which was their last hold, on the third of October sixteen hundred and ninety-one, upon articles which sufficiently proved the estimation in which king William held their valour and steadiness, even after the many advantages which he had gained over them. Thus terminated the final effort of the old Irish inhabitants for the recovery of the ancient power, and the slender relics of Irish possessions now became the subject of fresh confiscation. From the report made by the commissioners appointed by the parliament of England in sixteen hundred and ninety-eight, it appears that the Irish subjects outlawed for the rebellion of sixteen hundred and eighty-eight amounted to three thousand nine hundred and seventy-eight, and that their Irish possessions, as far as could be computed, were of the annual value of two hundred and eleven thousand six hundred and twenty-three pounds; comprising one million sixty thousand seven hundred and ninety-two acres. This fund was sold under the authority of an English act of parliament to defray the expences incurred by England in reducing the rebels in sixteen hundred and eighty-eight; and the sale introduced into Ireland a new set of adventurers. It is a very curious and important speculation to look to the forfeitures of Ireland incurred in one century. The superficial contents of the island are calculated at eleven million forty-two thousand six hundred and eighty-two acres. In the reign of James I. the whole of the province of Ulster was confiscated, containing - 2,836,837acres. Set out by the court of claims at the restora
tion - - - - - - - - -::- 7,800,000 Forfeiture of sixteen hundred and eighty
eight - - - - - - - - - - - 1,060,792
Thus it appears that the whole island has been confiscated, with the exception of the estates of five or six families of English blood, some of whom had been attainted in the reign of Henry VIII. but recovered their possessions before Tyrone's rebellion, and had the good fortune to escape the pillage of the English republic inflicted by Cromwell; and no inconsiderable