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pressions, but indifferently availed myself of what- Chap. ever terms readily occurred, and seemed fit for thev purpose. Notwithstanding the supplies afforded me by gentlemen of liberal spirit, a few of the less important materials, from which this respectable writer has compiled, have been beyond my reach, particularly some manuscripts. Some had been communicated to the doctor by the famous Edmund Burke, who, from partiality to catholics, and violence in favour of whatever party he espoused, was highly offended, when he found that the historian was not seduced by his documents from the medium of rectitude. Such has been my own case when I wrote an account of the local rebellion in 1798. I was obligingly supplied with information by men of opposite parties, who'were much disappointed when they perceived that my history was not composed in favour of either, but written from a comparison of different narratives with one another and my own experience. To clog my pages with quotations at bottom I have considered as unnecessary in this compilation, but have mentioned in the body of the work my principal authorities before the commencement of Leland's period. The references to his materials may be seen in the margin of his book; and what tracts were extant relative to Irish history in the year 1723 are mostly registered in a treatise named Nicholson's Irish Historical Library. For the remaining part of this compilation, parliamentary records., and various undigested documents, must be ransacked.
N 4 Since,
Chap. Since, from the final submission of the Irish to ^^j William the third in 1691, this island remained Reflexions, above a century free from other than external war, the historian of this period has happily little else to record than parliamentary transactions; but unhappily these were sometimes of such a nature as, more permanently than war, to sink the nation in poverty and barbarism. The baleful neglect and impolicy of the English government, since the first plantation here of the Anglo-Norman colony, rendered this island, which with a different conduct might have become an exuberant source of wealth and power, such a drain of English blood and treasure, as led many, not without reason, into an opinion, that the nonexistence of Ireland, or its total submersion under the waves of the Atlantic, would have been a considerable advantage to England. In the peaceful period, since the surrendry of Limerick, this country has been of important service to her sister kingdom, but of vastly less than she would have been, if the English parliament had acted towards her with a policy guided by common sense or common justice. The glorious revolution of 1688, which established in England an unparalleled system of civil freedom, was far from extending the benignity of its influence in the same degree to Ireland, where it only secured the administration of internal government exclusively to the protestant inhabitants, while these same protestants, the conquerors, or the offspring of the conquerors, of this country for the English crown, were, in common with the catholics, treated as a conquered
people people by the English legislature, whose laws, with Chap. equal cruelty and impolicy, precluded them from w^O availing themselves of the fruits of their own industry. The more democratical the government of a nation becomes, the more is it inclined to domineer over dependant nations; and, if its councils be swayed by the influence of mere mercantile persons, it ruins, by aiming at a monopoly, the commerce of its dependencies by restrictive laws, and thus, by natural consequence, injures essentially its own.
Immediately on the restoration of tranquillity in Ireland, in 1691, the English parliament proceeded to legislate for this country, at a period when its interference might seem least blameable, and yet was in appearance unnecessary, since the acts of the executive might have sufficed for temporary purposes till an Irish parliament could be assembled. Among the laws made for Ireland on this occasion was one for the abrogation of the oath of supremacy, and the substitution of other oaths, by which the catholics were virtually excluded from both houses of the legislature. At length, for the granting of money A pari to the crown, a parliament was convened in Ireland, in 1692, by lord Sydney, the lord lieutenant, after twenty-six years intermission of such assemblies, with exception only of the parliamentary convention held by king James. The commons voted a sum not exceeding seventy thousand pounds; but soon quarrelled with the chief governor in defence of their privileges. Of the certified bills returned from England, pn the principles of Poyning's law, two were bills
Chap, of supply, one of which was rejected, and the rea•w^^I/son of rejection entered on the journals, "that it had not originated in the house of commons." The other, on account of the great urgency of the case, was passed, but wilh a recorded reservation of their privileges in a declaratory vote, "that it was and is the sole and undoubted right of the commons to prepare heads of bills for raising money." Sydney, in a few days after, on the third of November, prorogued the parliament, and, in his speech to the commons, accused them of having undutifully and ungratefully invaded the royal prerogative. When they requested permission to send commissioners to their Majesties, William and Mary, for the stating of their case, they were told in reply that " they might go to England to beg their Majesty's pardon for their seditious and riotous assemblies." He entered his protest against their claim of right witb respect to the originating of money bills, and procured in his favour the opinion of the judges, who pronounced the conduct of the commons in this case a breach of Povning-'s law. After farther prorogations the parliament was dissolved, to the great disappointment of the public, as bills of importance were thus frustrated, and grievances unredressed. Lord's jus- -: Three lordsjustices, appointed chief governors, on 1693. the recall of Sydney, Lord Capel, Sir Cyril Wyche/ and Mr. Duncomb, disagreed in the administration; the two latter maintaining the observance, the former the evasion, of the articles of Limerick. As
these articles had been always regarded as grievous c H A r.
by the protestants, who, beside other grounds *>f.' ' '. '• discontent, were thereby precluded from reclaiming what had been plundered from them by the catholics, the complaint of the latter is doubtless not unfounded, that the former abused their power by infringing the capitulation in many instances. Such compacts, however extorted by pressing circumstances, and however severe in appearance to the conced-i ing party, ought, for the sake of mutual confidence among mankind, even independently of divine justice, to be observed with religious scrupulosity; and such infringements could by no means have the approbation of so wise a monarch as William; but the agents of government often counteracted the intention of the sovereign. As the conduct of lord Henry Capel was adapted to the prejudices of the powerful, his interest prevailed to the removal of his two colleagues, and the appointment of himself as sole governor under the title of lorddeputy.
In a parliament convened by this governor inA parila. 1695, were annulled by a formal act, the parlia- mei695. mentary proceedings under the authority of James, which had been before annulled by the English legislature: the act of settlement was explained and confirmed: the articles of Limerick were also confirmed, but so modified as to lessen the security to the persons concerned; and a few penal statutes were added to those which had been already enacted against catholics. Sir Charles Porter, the chancellor,