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Chap, was inserted, empowering the lord lieutenant and v—y—/council to give such farther instruction to the commissioners, appointed to execute this a6t, as they should judge expedient. To no party was this statute, so long and so laboriously debated, entirely satisfactory. A defalcation was made from the adventurers, some of whom and of the soldiers, the most obnoxious, as violent fanatics, had sold their interests for trifling sums, dreading that exceptions, which afterwards took not place, might be admitted in the bill of settlement to their exclusion. Contrary to the expectation originally formed, the lands were found quite insufficient for the satisfaction of all parties; and since some of the discordant interests must necessarily suffer, the loss was allotted to be sustained by the catholics. The officers called forty-nine men, whose loyalty was unquestionable, found their security diminished by some charges for which it was made responsible, particularly fifty thousand pounds alleged to be still due to the earl of Leicester as lord lieutenant and colonel, and an undetermined sum of debts due for the furnishing of the army in Ireland. Even the commons acknowledged the hardship of this case, and ordered a bilt of explanation to be brought into their house principally for the relief of these officers. pucootenti. Discontents were augmented by the execution of the a6l, which was entrustedito English commissioners, totally disengaged from Irish interests, who sat in Dublin to hear claims and proofs of innocence. Notwithstanding the rigorous qualifications required for catholics, a great proportion of those, who first
came came forward, were pronounced innocent; intheCHAP
first month of trials thirty-eight out of forty-five ;* » * in the second fifty-three out of sixty; in the third seventy-seven out of eighty-two. As these innocents were to be immediately restored to their lauds, without provision for the reprisal of the present possessors, and as the fund for future reprisals was known to be small, the adventurers and soldiers were mightily alarmed at the numbers acquitted, without considering that those, who were most confident of being able to prove their innocence, would be the foremost to apply for trial. The house of commons, taking advantage of the clause in the act of settlement, whieh empowered the lord lieutenant and council to give farther directions to the commissioners, waited in a body on Ormond with a petition, recommending such directions as tended to involve the whole Irish party in condemnation inevitable; and their speaker, Sir Audley Mervyn, in a long speech, pronounced a solemn comment on every article of the address. As their application was received with only cold civility, the commons appealed to the public, and printed the speech of Mervyn. Finding their advice neglected, they voted a resolution, that they would use their utmost endeavours to prevent the great and manifold injuries arising to the protestants of Ireland by the proceedings of the commissioners for executing the acl; of settlement. The king was displeased with their violence, and prosecutions were commenced both in London and Dublin against the printers of Mervyn's speech. Or
D 4 mond,
Chap, mond, in a letter to the commons, represented the V«^yw bad consequences of their proceedings, which had raised alarms, as if the protestant religion was in danger, and given encouragement to the forming of conspiracies against government. They retracted their vote, and declared their abhorrence of these conspiracies; yet they shrunk not from their dignity, and soon after voted an address, representing the danger of an increased influence of popery, and recommending the banishment of all popish ecclesiastics. Conspira- fhe sol(Jiers and adventurers, imagining private *?63- instructions given to the commissioners by the king in favour of the catholics, and fearing the loss of their properties, expressed so general a disaffection, as to embolden the more violent, who were also encouraged by agents from the mal-contents in England, to enter into schemes to maintain their possessions by force. A plan of general insurrection, formed by some officers who had served in Cromwell's army, had been betrayed to Ormond by a member of the committee to whose management it had been entrusted; and a separate conspiracy for the seizure of the castle of Dublin had also been discovered and frustrated: yet the conspirators persevered, and plans for a general rising and seizure of the castle were renewed. Sir Theophilus Jones, to whom the conspirators, expecting to gain him to their party, communicated rashly the plot, gave immediate information to the lord lieutenant; so that on the eve of the day appointed for the surprizal of '-': . .' the the castle, and the publishing: of their declaration. c h A P,.
1 b 'XXVIII.
twenty-five of the principals were seized, anda reward v—v^—'
advertised for the apprehension of the rest; while in Ulster Sir Arthur Forbes, by boldly seizing one of the chief conspirators in the midst of his friends, had so intimidated his accomplices, that they fled into Scotland. Pardons were granted to all, except a few who were executed, as their cause was popular, and the government weak; the king, from the discontents of the English parliament, and his own profusion, being unable to make such remittances to Ireland as the support of a military force, and the security of his government required.
The bill of explanation for the a6t of settlement, Bm of exprepared by the Irish commons, was rejected in 1665.' England, whence orders came from the king to the lord lieutenant and council to frame a bill entirely new. Agents from the several parties attended the English council to plead their causes in the discussion of this bill, and Ormond was called from Ireland to assist in this perplexing business. To secure tranquility during his absence, money was remitted for the payment of the troops; a thousand of the most disaffected soldiery, replaced by others from England, were sent into the service of Portugal; and the earl of Ossory was vested in the mean time with the temporary government and the title of lorddeputy. Ormond, on his arrival in London, found all parties willing to relax in their pretensions, wearied by expense and the tedium of delay. The adventurers of London proposed to resign their lands
cBaf. to the king, and to account for the mesne profits, on
xxvi i r. .
v—^—' condition of being reimbursed their principal, with
interest upon interest, at the rate of three per cent, the soldiers and adventurers in Ireland to exclude all adventurers who had issued their money after the rupture between the late king and parliament; the forty-nine officers to accept ten shillings in the pound for their composition. Sir William Domville, attorney-general of Ireland, had by diligent scrutiny discovered, that one entire moiety of the adventurers* money had been subscribed and paid subsequently to the doubling ordinance, and that consequently one-half of the lands allotted to them ought to be retrenched. Great abuses were detected in the manner of distribution, in which the proceedings were irregular and confused, leaving such room for correction in admeasurements, returns of unprofitable lands, and other particulars, as to augment considerably the probable stock of reprisals, and to dispose the several parties to reasonable concessions.
By order of the English council, the lord lieutenant, assisted by such Irish privy counsellors as happened to be in London, the commissioners of claims, and the solicitor-general, Sir Heneage Finch, reviewed what had already been deliberated, and suggested farther expedients for the settlement of Ireland. After almost ten months of discussion, a proposal from the catholics was accepted, that, for the satisfaction of their interests, the adventurers and soldiers should resign one-third of the lands respectively