Page images
PDF
EPUB

th's With respect to a right reverend benchi, I mean a part of that bench, all I ask is temper. I stated several allegations. I am ready to prove them. I stated, that in some parts of the South the de. mands of Tithe had exceeded the bounds of law ; I repeat the allegation. I stated that the proctor had, in many places, demanded and received a Bertain per centage, called proctorage, against law and charity; I repeat that allegation. I stated, that in parts of the South, certain ministers or their proctors had been guilty of exactions which were unconscionable, and I stated also that they had recently, and greatly and unconscionably increas. ed, their, ratages; I repeat that allegation, I stated that the Tithe-farmers did very generally, in the parts disturbed, oppress the common people, and had exceeded their legal powers, or had most grossly abused them: these allegations I repeat now-and am ready to go into proofs, whenever gentlemen choose to give me such an opportunity.

"I am not responsible for the precise quan. tity of every return stated to me.--Some of the statements are official, and cannot be disputed, and are enormous; others come from the op. pressed, and may be sanguine; I am not responsible for the precise quantities in such a case ; but I am responsible for this allegation, that

there exists great oppression-I repeat it again, there exists great oppression. : 01,0.

166 As to the resolutions which I now submit, and which, next session, I shall move, the right reverend quarter will consider, that some of those propositions are in their principles already the law of England. With what justice 'can they attempt to deprive Ireland of the benefit of such laws ? Ireland, a 'country requiring so much more encouragement, and paying abundantly more to the Church.-A celebrated Bishop in England has calculated, that the income of the Church in England, including all bishopricks, and even the estates of the Universities, would, if dis. tributed, amount to 1501. for each clergyman. 'A learned Bishop in Ireland has calculated, that, excluding Bishopricks and Universities, the income of the Church in Ireland would amount to 1481, for each clergyman. Thus, by this calculation, excluding their great riches, I mean the bishopricks, the ministers of the Protestant Church of Ireland have within 21. as mucb as in England; and, including bishopricks, must have, beyond all comparison, more than in Eng. land, where the extent of the cures is incompå. rably less, even supposing our 'clergy were all to reside, and while this kingdom bas two other orders of priesthood to support.--Such of our Bishops who came from another country, and bave intercepted the views of some of the younger branches of our best families here, will naturally wish to make some compensation. The laws of the country to which they owe their birth, they I suppose will not object to communicate to this country, to which they owe their situation.

6 Some of the resolutions are not only founded on principles of husbandry, but maxims of Christianity; these I hope will not meet with inveterate opposition from any of the right reverend bench ;-those of them the most adverse and inveterate will soften, when they con. sider the Christianity of clothing the naked and feeding the hungry; or rather, indeed, of suffering the naked and the hungry to feed and clothe themselves, by encouraging 'their manufacture-giving certain privileges to their infant labours, and by leaving in their principal food the poor unoppressed by avarice and exaction uuder any pretence whatsoever. However, if this shall not be the case-if these sound doctrines · and these charitable principles are received by some of a certain quarter with hardness of heart, and their author with clerical scurrility, I cannot help it; I shall persist, notwithstanding, in making my solemn appeal against such men to their own gospel; whieh, as it is the foundation of their power, so must it be the limits of our veneration."

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

The debate which took place in the Irish , House of Commons upon this Bill, is so particularly calculated to demonstrate the wisdom of those measures, which were recommended by Mr. Grattan, when giving his opinion of the operation of Tithes on the industry, and feel 1 ings of Ireland; the Compilers of this Volume conceived that they would commit no very serious chronological error, by giving the fol-lowing Speech, immediately after those, which. though in point of time it preceded, are best illustrated by so practical a comment on the violence and pride displayed in the Irish Riot Act, for the prevention of tumultuous risings and assemblies. In this Bill, brought in and recommended by the late Lord Clare (who was

then Attorney-general) will be found that species of remedy, which skims the surface of public injury, while it leaves the thorn which festered and tortured the patient, still rankling in the wound, and eating into its miserable victim.

On the 31st January, 1787, when the House was in Committee, upon that part of the address to the Lord Lieutenant, which related to the disgraceful commotions then raging in the West of Ireland, the Attorney-general submitted to the House the following narrative of facts, on which he intended to found his Bill, for the prevention of tumultuous risings and assemblies. He stated the rise and progress of the disturbance 66 the commencement," said he, i was in one or two parishes in the county of Kerry, and they proceed thus:-The people assembled in a Catholic Chapel, and there took an oath to obey the laws of Captain Right, and to starve the clergy; they then proceeded to the next parishes, on the following Sunday, and there swore the people in the same manner, with this addition, that they (the people last sworn) should, on the en. suing Sunday, proceed to the Chapels of their next neighbouring parishes, and swear 'the in: habitants of those parishes' in like manner ; --pro-' ceeding in this manner, they very soon went through the province of "Munster; the first ob.

10.

« PreviousContinue »