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Chap, dered necessary the interference of the legislature;

XXXVII '* *

C—v—-/ whence the press has since been subjected to salutary restrictions.

A pariia. Jn the first session of the new parliament, on the. 1769. octennial plan, which met on-the seventeenth of October 1769, sixteen months after the dissolution of the old, a warm dispute arose between the viceroy and the commons. A money-bill, planned by the British cabinet,' certified into England by the lord lieutenant and Irish privy-council, and returned under the king's great seal, was by the commons tejected after the first reading, because it had not originated in their house. On this occasion the pa-triots were aided by some placemen and pensioners, who had reserved to themselves a right of opposing the court in questions of great importance. The viceroy was incensed at this defeat, and a protest, which he in vain attempted to enter on the journal? of the commons, was by him with difficulty entered on those of the lords, five of whom protested against his claim of protesting. Resolving still further tQ display a resolution of supporting their privileges, the commons caused an English newspaper, Woodfall's Advertiser, in which reflections were thrown against their conduct with respecl to the money-bill, to be publicly burned by the hands of the common hangman, before the gate of the house. In another question concerning their privileges, a majority appeared against the court in the house of commons, and the parliament was prorogued on the twentyr '..-:• , . sixths sixth of December, after a session little longer than Chap.

A. Xxxvii.:

two months. ^ ,, ,_f

On the re-assembling of the parliament, after an second, &c. interval of fourteen months, on the twenty-sixth oftoofiennid February 1771, a majority for the court was foundpar^TM£"' to have been secured by the strenuous exertions of the chief governor. When, in their address to the king, the commons gave their humble thanks for his Majesty's continuance of lord Townshend in the government, John Ponsonby, the speaker, resigned his place, declaring that, as the chief governor had at the end of the last session passed a censure on the commons, he could not perform the office of conveying such thanks as might imply a relinquishment of their privileges. Edmond Sexton Perry, who from a patriot had become a courtier, was elected speaker by a majority of four. The oppositionists, or patriots, so far as arguments and words could avail, maintained a vigorous contest in this and the following session, and caused on various questions divisions of the house, in which they were constantly out-numbered. In 1771 died Doctor Lucas, who had proved to the last an incorruptible patriot, when all opposition to the influence of the court proved fruitless. Lord Townshend, having established the preponderancy of an English interest in Ireland, at a vast expence of Irish revenue, abdicated the viceroyalty in 1772, and was succeeded by Earl Harcourt, a man of a different character, fitted quietly to follow the directions of the British

ministry,

c Ha p. ministry, and tp leave to his secretary the whole ac* L_^w tive labour of administration.

He,rt»of In the government of lord Townshend a part of 17 71-1773.Ulster began to be disturbed by an insurrection, which, originating from a local cause, yet a severe grievance, was much less extensive, but vastly more bloody, and of longer duration, than that of the Hearts of Oak. An estate in the county of Antrim, a part of the vast possessions of an absentee nobleman, the marquis of Donegal, was proposed, when its leases had expired, to be set only to those who could pay large fines, and the agent of the marquis was said to have exacted extravagant fees on his own account also. Numbers, of the former tenants, neither able {o pay the fines, nor the rents demanded by those who, on payment of fines and fees, took leases over them, were dispossessed of their tenements, and left without means of subsistence. Rendered thus desperate, they maimed the cattle of those who had taken their lands, committed other outrages, and, to express a firmness of resolution, styled themselves Hearts of Steel, To rescue one of the number, confined on a charge of felon; in Belfast, some thousands of peasants, who neither before nor after took any part in the insurrection, marched with the Steelmen into the town* and received the prisoner from the military guard, the officers of which were fortunately persuaded, by a respectable physician, to his liberation, to prevent the ruinous consequences of a desperate battle

The

The association of the Steelmen extended into the c H A P.

. ,, . . , , ,. . XXXVII.

neighbouring counties, augmented by distressed or.',, „ .y

discontented peasants, who were not affected imme-t diately by the original grievance. By the exertions of the military some were taken, and tried at Carrickfergus. As they were acquitted from the supposed partiality of the witnesses and jury, an a6t of parliament was passed in March 1772, ordering their trials to be held in counties different from those in which their offences were committed. Some in consequence were carried to Dublin, but were there acquitted from prejudices entertained against a law so unconstitutional. In the December of 1773, in the administration of Earl Harcourt, the obnoxious a€t was repealed. From a sense of the evil consequences of disorder, insurgents, tried in their respective counties., were now condemned and executed. The insurrection wa9 totally quelled, but its effe6is were long baneful. So great and wide was the discontent that many thousand of protestants emigrated from those parts of Ulster to the American settlements, where they soon appeared in arms against the British government, and contributed powerfully, by their zeal and valour, to the separation of the American, colonies froin the empire of Great-Britain.

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CHAR XXXVIII.

Retrospect of British affairs'—George the third-*, British colonies of North-AmericaAmerican war> Parliamentary transactionsTroops transported from IrelandNational distress-r-Petitions against Irish trade—Indulgence to catholicsNational poi vertyResolutions of non-importationVolunteers Parliamentary transactions—Relaxation of commercial restraints-7-rDeniands of an independent legislature—Proceedings of parliament—Proceedings of the volunteersResolutions of DungannonParliamentary transactionsState of public affairs; Change of measuresIrish revolutionDissen-: Hon of PatriotsConsummation of the revolution.

xxxvni. *. HE accession of a new family, the house of *—•/—' Hanover, to the British throne, to the perpetual

Retrospeft

of Britain, exclusion of the pestilent race of Stuart, on the firmest principle of genuine liberty, the choice of parliament, recommended by the general wish of men of property throughout the nation, was an event most propitious to the prosperity pf Britain, the independence of Europe, and the general melioration of the human species. More happy still would it have been, if the princes of this new dynasty had possessed

exalted.

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