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be carried the propensities of the Irish gentry to ape the manners of the viceroy and his consort: in like manner as a certain great personage is said to have exhibited the exercise of a child's plaything, called the quiz, in consequence of which the citizens of London and Dublin were for some time ridiculously employed in this puerile sport, whenever they appeared in the streets: whence, to quiz a man came to signify to dupe him sportively into a ludicrous mistake. The most permanent effect of the duke's example was 'a change, to immoderately late hours for con
viviality or amusement. Gentlemen, whose time • of dinner had before been from four to five
o'clock, immediately adopted the custom of dining between six and seven, and some even at eight or nine o'clock, a custom still in force, notwithstanding that a different example was set of early hours, sober pleasures, and domestic virtues, by the duke's immediate successor.” · That successor was Earl Temple, (now created Marquis of Buckingham) who was appointed a second time to the viceroyalty. During the short period of his former administration," he had vigilantly laboured in the correction of public abuses: and they who lived and fattened upon those abuses, beheld his approaching arrival among them with no very comfortable feelings. Nor were they without reason for their fears. He carried a severe and requisite scrutiny into the various fiscal departinents and offices of the castle, a duty so
Marquis of Buckingham appointed viceroy. 149 neglected by former viceroys that the system of peculation was altogether enormous. Thus the military stores were openly embezzled; arms, condemned as useless, carried away through one gate of the castle, and brought back through another as newly purchased. From a fraudulent plan long established, clerks in subordinate offices, with salaries not exceeding a hundred pounds a year, were enabled to live in a splendid style. Struck with a violent panic at the viceroy's investigation of their accounts, and his demand of the immediate payment of the money due, some of the defaulters filed the kingdom, some by entreaties and promises eluded the blow, and some chose the horrible refuge of suicide. Thus far his plans of reformation were good; but they had been better had he extended them to all the abuses that prevailed. Such an extention, however, was not consistent with the avowed views of the ministry at home, and the parliamentary majorities continued to be obiained by means not more consistent with public honour and national safety, than some of those which were employed by peculators in aggrandizing their own fortunes.
The Marquis of Buckingham called the parliament together in Jan. 1788; and the first object that engaged their serious attention was the subject of tythes. The evils that were then felt, and that still exist, in the levying of this tax, were great and insupportable. They prevailed chiefly in the South, and in the South, as a neces
sary consequence, originated almost all those tumults which had agitated the country for the last twenty years. Tythes, however, though the greatest, was not the only grievance. The mode of collecting them was no less oppressive than the amount of the tythe itself *. We have al- ·
* The following statement, by Sir Jonah Barrington, (See Hist. Ariecdotes, &c. p. xxxvii, et seq.) of the mode of colo lecting tythes in parts of the county of Mayo, Sligo, &c, being those very parishes and districts where the French army under General Humbert was so cordially received, by the unfortunate peasantry, in 1803, may give some idea of the imperious necessity which exists for changing and regulating this odious system.
“The protestant clergyman, generally lets his tythe to ą proctor, or farmer, the wealthy parishioners rent theirs from the proctor upon reasonable terms which prevents their interference. The remaining tythes of the parish being those of the peasants are then advertized to be canted (a sort of auction) at some ale-house, the bidding commences at night, frequently so late as eleven or twelve o'clock :—the proctor, (and in some instances the rector) superintends the sale; each cottager's tythe is set up distinctly, and every bidder, according to the liberality of his advance, gets a glass or two of strong whisky, to encourage him: the cottager's pride, to purchase his own tithe increases with his inebriety: puffers are introduced: the sale raised; and, when the cottager is at length declared the buyer, a promissory note is drawn for him; he being totally illiterate puts his mark to it, and when he awakens next day from his intoxication, he is infornied of the nature of his purchase. This cant generally lasts several nights; the cottager, if not punctual, is then served with a law process, called a civil bill, for the amount of the note, a decree with costs, of course, issues against him: and the blanket (hiş children's covering) or the potatoes (his only food) are sold to
Mr. Grattan's efforts to redress them. 151 teady (vol. i. p. 350, et seq.) unfolded some of the pernicious machinery of this system which calls so loudly for amelioration. On the present occasion, Mr. Grattan exerted himself with an industry in detail, and a splendor of eloquence, in enforcing what he detailed, which even he himself never surpassed. He disclosed the evil in all its native deformity; he stripped off all its insidious coverings, and shewed the country and the world what monstrous iniquities were transacting under the eye, nay, with the very sanction of the law. His speeches comprehend a history. He repeatedly brought the question before parliament, but his great effort was on the 14th of July, 1788, when he moved for a committee, to inquire into the alleged grievances in the raising of tylhes. No extract, no faint outline could convey any adequate impression of this speech, which to be known must be read, and to be read must be to feel and admire it.
In the course of this year (1788) the county of Armagh was disturbed by the increased anipay the expences of the proceeding. The attorney and proctor understand each other; the costs of recovering a crown often exceed a guinea; and the catholic peasant, instead of a tenth, frequently yields up the whole of his scanty miserable crop, to support a pastor of the protestant establishment.
“ Unable either to bear or counteract the oppressions of the proctors, the beggard peasant becomes discontented, gradually riutous, and at length desperate, and the catastrophe generally concludes by the parishioners (illegally) cutting the proctor's ears off, and the proctor (according to luw, hanging the parish. joners,"
mosity and outrages of the peep-of-day boys, and defenders. They had been augmenting themselves since 1785. Originally they were all presbyterians, but in process of time Roman catholics having joined them, they became indiscriminately denominated papists, thus adding religious fanaticism to civil dissention. The protestants took the alarm, and committed many: wanton excesses. The law was still in force against the catholics being possessed of arms. The protestants paid doiniciliary visits to search for these forbidden arms, and in their search often trespassed against the laws they affected to uphold. These visits were commonly made early in the morning: bence they who made them, were called peep-of-day boys. Those who were the objects of such inquisitorial proceedings styled themselves Defenders, and hence the fatal origin of defenderism. Personal feuds became general quarrels; and in process of time whole districts embraced, as a matter of party, what, in the commencement, was merely perhaps, individual contention.