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Chap, particularly religious persecution, which had driven
v_Jl3 thousands of industrious puritans to Holland and America, the rents of England had suffered a diminution to the annual amount of near two hundred thousand pounds. The views of some courtiers, who wished to distress the duke of Ormond in his government, and the vulgar inclination of many to display the superiority of the English over the Irish nation by oppressive exertions of authority, conspired to represent this decrease to have been occasioned by the importation of Irish cattle; though the whole annual value of the cattle imported fell far short of the deficiency of rents; and though far greater numbers had been imported, before the civil wars of England, without the appearance of any such deficiency. So early as the year 1663, a temporary a6l had been passed in England to prohibit the importation of any fat cattle after the first of July in every year; and in a parliament held at Oxford in 1665, a bill was prepared for the total prohibition of Irish cattle of every description from the English markets.
The bill was opposed by arguments drawn from natural justice; from the rights of Englishmen, to which the English colony in Ireland was entitled; the misery to which the people of Ireland must be reduced by its operation; the bad consequences of driving the Irish into the necessity of trading with other countries; the detriment to the trade of England, whose manufactures the Irish, deprived of their chief branch of commerce, would be no longer able to purchase; the failure of revenue in Ireland
by the poverty thus occasioned, and the consequent Cha*. insecurity of the kingdom from the non-payment of the army. Reasoning was altogether tain. To some gentlemen of Ireland, who appeared for their country, a copy of the bill was denied. It passed the house of commons by a small majority, but the parliament was prorogued before it received the sahction of the lords. It was resumed however with still more violence in the next session, and debated among the peers with a scandalous indecorum. In the preamble to the bill the commons had declared the importation a nuisance; instead of which the words detriment and mischvtf Were proposed in the upper house to be inserted as an amendment. Ashley, who afterwards became earl of Shaftesbury, with affecTed moderation recommended the terms felony or premunire; to which the chancellor, lord Clarendon, replied that the importation might as reasonably be pronounced adtdtery. At the moment when the English parliament was committing an outrage on reason as well as equity, the duke of Buckingham exclaimed that" none could oppose the bill but such as had Irish estates or Irish understandings." Receiving a challenge for this national insult from the gallant lord Ossory, Buckingham, instead of fighting, complained to the house; and Ossory Was for a short time committed to the tower. As the king had involved himself in war with the Dutch and with France, and could obtain no supply without the passing of the bill, he found himself obliged to give it his sanction, though be had expressed his utmost abhorrence ef it, and Vox,. II. E had
Chap, had passionately declared that it should never receive
XXIX. , .
v—^^ his assent.
D'sifififin"' Deprived of her usual commerce with England: disabled from trading with foreign countries by the want of shipping and by the war; exposed to the attempts of enemies open and concealed; and in danger of insurrections from the distresses of its people, Ireland was reduced to a lamentable situation. Ormond in this time of peril proceeded with vigilance and caution, detecting conspiracies, and taking the proper measures for security without farther provocation to the discontented. The danger of disorders in an unpaid army had appeared in a mutiny of the garrison at Carrickfergus, who had seized the town and castle with a desperate defiance of authority. The garrison, after some resistance, surrendered to Ormond, who had marched against them on the land side, while his son, the earl of Arran, had conducted.an armament to attack them from the sea. Of a hundred and ten, tried by a court martial, nine were executed, and the companies disbanded to which they had belonged. A supply of fifteen thousand pounds from the English treasury, together with provisions, accepted in Ireland, in place of money, in the payment of taxes,enabled the lord lieutenant to give some content to the army, and to establish a militia, particularly in Munster, where a formidable invasion from France was apprehended. Notwithstanding the ungenerous treatment of Ireland by the English parliament, thirty thousand beeves, the only riches then afforded by the country, Were cheerfully subscribed, at
the the motion of Ormond, by the Irish nobility and xxiV' gentry, for the 'relief of the sufferers by a tremen- l—^—', dous conflagration in London, which had destroyed four hundred streets and thirteen thousand houses. This a6t of disinterested benevolence was malignantly interpreted in England as a scheme to defeat the act of prohibition.
To alleviate the distresses of Ireland, the king, bycommeran act of state, with the reluctant consent of his011667'. privy council, allowed a free trade from this kingdom to all foreign countries, whether in peace or war with England. He also permitted the Irish to prohibit the importation of manufactures from Scotland, whose parliament, following the example of the English, had excluded from their markets the cattle and corn of Ireland. By this a6t of state the exportation of wool to foreign countries was allowed, though by-law it was exportable only to England; but Ormond, who snspected a snare, consented not to the exportation of this article, either by proclamation, or particular licence, which the chief governor was empowered to grant. Urged by necessity however, the Irish entered into clandestine commerce, conveying their wool by stealth to foreign markets. To manufacture the productions of their country at 1 ome, they were earnestly encouraged by Ormond. On a memorial of Sir Peter Pett, a manufactory of Norwich stuffs was erected at Clonmel; and for the supply of workmen, Grant, a man remarkable for his observations on the bills of mortality, was employed to procure the removal of five hundred Walloon protestant families from Canterbury to Ireland. A manufactory of friezes was
E 2 established
Chap, established at Carrick-on-Suir; and colonel Richard v_y/ Lawrence, an ingenious projector, was encouraged to promote the combing and weaving of wool. But the most successful efforts of the chief governor were directed to the revival of the linen manufacture, which Wentworth had so laudably taken pains to establish. Men of skill were sent to the Netherlands to make observations and contracts with artists. Beside workmen procured from France, Sir William Temple was engaged to send five hundred families from Brabant. At Chapel-Izod, near Dublin, were commodious tenements prepared for the artificers, where cordage, sailcloth, ticken, plain linen, and diaper were manufactured with approbation. intrigu« A junto of five courtiers in England, termed the
against Or." . -TM
mood. Cabal, a word composed of the initial letters of their names, had resolved on the removal of Ormond from his government, as he could not be supposed capable of becoming an instrument in the schemes then in contemplation. His trial of the mutineers at Carrickfergus by martial law, in what his enemies called a time of peace, and his quartering of soldiers on the subjects, contrary, as they unfairly alleged, to an otd Irish statute, were, with other charges still more frivolous, formed into twelve articles of impeachment, and vainly displayed in triumph by ihe duke of Buckingham, a member of the cabal. Though the king expressed some displeasure at this attempt, he declined to signify to Ormond his approbation of his conduct in the quartering of soldiers, leaving him in future to the hazard of any erroneous procedure; yet the chief governor, with