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the patriots, or Irish interest, was Henry Boyle, Chap. speaker of the commons, afterwards created earl of w,.> Shannon. This party received also considerable aid from an individual originally obscure, whose activity, talents, and intrepid perseverance, raised him to eminence in the esteem of his countrymen.
From innovations made in the charters of corpo-Lucas. rate towns in the reign of Charles the second, the power of choosing their own magistrates had been taken from the commons of the city of Dublin, and placed in the board of aldermen, subject in its exercise on each election to the approbation of the chief governor and privy-council. Charles Lucas, an apothecary, anxious for the rights of the citizens, into whose common-council he had been admitted, but unable to oppose a positive law, discovered, by a laborious investigation of charters and other records, that encroachments, without legal sanction* had been made ,on their privileges in other respects'. By publishing his discoveries in 1741, with suitable observations, he raised a furious contest, pursued wfth acrimony, between the commons and aldermen, ^hich, though unavailing to the former, tended to excite in the nation a spirit of inquiry and opposition to the invasion of political rights. His publications in favour of the claims of the people, and of Ireland as a separate kingdom, among which was a memorial to the earl of Harrington, the lord lieutenant, gave at length such an alarm to the parfiians of administration, that a resolution was taken
Chap, to crush him at once by the hand of power. For this
s^ i purpose the interest of the court was exerted with such success., that in the October of 1749, the house of commons in parliament voted Lucas an enemy to his country, and, by humble addresses to the viceroy, requested the prosecution of the offender by the attorney-general, and the issuing of a proclamation for the seizure of his person. Unable to withstand so formidable a force, he retired into exile, whence he was destined to return, some years after, with augmented honour, to be elected a representative in parliament for the city of Dublin, in his pursuit of which office he had at this time been frustrated by ministerial influence.
Notwithstanding this partial defeat, the popular party was gaining strength. Under the viceroyalty of the earl of Harrington, who succeeded Chesterfield in 1746, a question was started concerning the disposal of national revenue in a particular case, which remained undetermined till the second administration of the duke of Dorset, who returned to Neva. Ireland as the successor of Harrington in 1751. Previously to this determination an important point was gained in the punishment of one of those delin-r quents of state, who had hitherto been protected from justice by the parliamentary influence of the cabinet. Arthur Jones-Nevil, a member fo.r the county of Wexford, surveyor and engineer-general, was, in the March of 1752, on. an examination by a committee of the house of commons, found guilty of scandalous embezzlement of the. public money
in in a contrail for the building and repairing of Chap. barracks; was ordered by a resolution of the com-v^^—Jf mons to fulfil his contract without any additional charge to the public; and in the November of the following year, was expelled the house, on the report of a committee that he had not complied with this resolution.
Natiotial debt of Ireland—Dispute about previous consent—Discontents—Kildare's manorial— Change of administration— Parliamentary transactions— National poverty and partial remedies—Violence of a mob—Threats of a French invasion—Thurot's descent—Wliiteboys—Hearts of Oak-—Parliamentary transactions—O&ennial bill—New system of administration—News-papers—A parliament—IiejeBion of a money-bill—Second session of the Octennial parliament, 8$c.—Death of Lucas~~Hearts of Steel—Emigration to America.
^Af- 1 He national debt of Ireland, which had been
v—>v~*/ principally occasioned by an unlimited vote of credit, debt. given to government by the house of commons in 1715, as an aid against the rebellion then excited in North-Britain, had, by the poverty of the nation, increased, in eighteen years, from sixteen thousand to three hundred and seventy-one thousand pounds. In the application of public money for the discharge of this debt, when, in some years afterwards, from the augmentation of the linen manufacture and some
Oilier favourablecircumstances, the national poverty Crap. had become in some degree diminished., an occasion v y 1 was taken for a trial of parliamentary strength between the two factions of patriots and cqurtiers.
$y ah act amounting to a perpetual money-bill, inDispute the reign of Charles the second, a hereditary revenue'^'^ was settled on the crown, which proved more thansent^53 sufficient for the support of government till after the revolution, when an additional supply was granted by the commons. When, in 1749, of a surplus of two hundred and twenty thousand pounds, remaining in the treasury, after the discharge of all the expences qf gpyernment, an acl. was passed for the application qf a hundred and twenty-eight thousand five hundred pounds toward the payment of the national debt, a question arose, whether in the king or the commons resided the right of disposing of this surplus? If th.e redundancy had arisen from the hereditary revenue alone, the right of its disposal would have indisputably rested in the king; but it was of a compound nature, partly derived from the hereditary, partly from the additional duties.
The king was, however, assured by his judges and counsellors, that his previous consent was necessary for the application of this money. Therefore in 1751, when heads of a bill were certified, into England for the discharge of a hundred and twenty thousand pounds of the national debt from a surplus of two hundred and forty-eight thousand in the treasury, the duke of Dorset, the lord lieutenant, informed the commons, in his speech from the
£ 3 throne,