Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

A

HISTORY

OF THE

PENAL LAWS,

8c.

Though the treaty of Limerick was now violated in every point, the spirit of persecution was still restless and unsatisfied. However great was the ingenuity of the legislators who produced that master-piece of oppression, the act to prevent the farther growth of Popery, it was found that another act was still wanting to explain and amend it. Such an act passed in the year 1709.

The 1st clause provides, that no Papists shall be capable of taking any annuity for life.

The following is the 3d clause, every word of which is of value, in order to show the vexations with which the unfortunate Catholics of Ireland have been exposed : “ And, be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that where and as often as any child children of any Popish parent or parents hath, or have heretofore professed or conformed him, her, or themselves, to the Protestant religion, as by law established, and enrolled in the High Court of Chancery, a certificate of the Bishop of the diocese in which he, she, or they shall inhabit or reside, testifying his, her, or their being a Protestant, and conforming him, her, or themselves, to the church of Ireland, as by law established, it shall and may be larful for the High Court of Chancery, upon a bill founded upon this act, to oblige the said Papist parent, or parents, to discover upon oath the full value of all his, her, or their estate, as well personal as real, clear, over and above all real incumbrances and debts con

18th Anne, c. 3.

tracted, bonâ fide, for valuable consideration, before the enrolment of such certificate, and thereupon to make such order for the support and maintenance of such Protestant child or children, by the distribution of the said real and personal estate, to and among such Protestant child or children, for the present support of such Protestant child or children; and also to and for the portion or portions, and future maintenance or maintenances, of such Protestant child, or children, after the decease of such Popish parent or parents, as the said court shall judge fit.”

The 12th clause provides, that all converts in public employments, members of parliament, barristers, attorneys, or officers of any courts of law, shall educate their children Protestants.

By the 14th clause, the Popish wife of a Papist, having power to make a jointure, conforming, shall, if she survives her husband, have such provision, not exceeding the power of her husband, to make a jointure, as the Chancellor shall

adjudge. By the 15th clause, the Popish wife of a Papist, not being otherwise provided for, conforming, shall have a proportion out of his chattels, notwithstanding any will or voluntary disposition, and the stat. 7th W. III. 6.

The 16th clause provides, that a Papist teaching school publicly, or in a private house, or as usher to a Protestant, shall be deemed and prosecuted as a Popish regular convict.

The 18th clause provides, that Popish priests, who shall be converted, shall receive 30l. per annum, to be levied and paid by Grand Juries.

The 20th clause provides, whimsically enough, for the reward of discovering Popish clergy and schoolmasters, viz. For discovering an archbishop, bishop, vicar-general,

or other person exercising any foreign ecclesias-
tical jurisdiction

£50 0 0 For discovering each regular clergyman, and each secular clergyman, not registered

£20 0 0 For discovering each Popish schoolmaster or usher £10 00 The 21st clause empowers two Justices to summon any Papist of 18 years of age, and if he shall refuse to give testimony where and when he heard mass celebrated, and who and what persons were present at the celebration of it, and likewise touching the residence and abode of any priest or Popish schoolmaster to commit him to jail, without bail, for 12 months, or until he shall pay , 201.

By the 25th clause, no priest can officiate except in the parish for which he is registered, by 2d Anne, c. 7.

The 30th clause provides for the discovery of all trusts agreed to be undertaken in favor of Papists; and enables any Protestant VOL. XX.

Pam,

NO. XL. 2 E

to file a bill in Chancery against any person concerned in any sale, lease, mortgage, or incumbrance, in trust for Papists, and to compel him to discover the same ; and it further provides, that all issues to be tried in any action founded upon this act, shall be tried by none but known Protestants.

The 37th clause provides, that no Papist in trade, except in the linen trade, shall take more than two apprentices.

The following are the other acts passed in this reign concerning the Catholics.

An act to prevent Popish clergy from coming into the kingdom.'

An act for registering Popish clergy. By which all the Catholic clergy then in the kingdom were required to give in their names and places of abode at the next quarter sessions : by this act they are prohibited from employing curates.?

An act to amend this act.3

An act to explain and amend an act to prevent Papists being solicitors or sheriffs, &c.4

Clauses are introduced into this act, by which Catholics are prevented from serving on Grand Juries, and by which, in trials upon any statute for strengthening the Protestant interest, the plaintiff might challenge a Papist, which challenge the judge was to allow.

During all Queen Anne's reign, the inferior civil officers, by order of Government, were incessantly harassing the Catholics, with oaths, imprisonments, and forfeitures, without any visible cause but hatred of their religious profession. In the year 1708, on the bare rumor of an intended invasion of Scotland by the Pretender, forty-one Roman Catholic noblemen and gentlemen were imprisoned in the castle of Dublin; and, when they were afterwards set at liberty, the Government was so sensible of the wrong done to them, that it remitted their fees, amounting to 8001. A custom that had existed from time immemorial, for infirm men, women, and children, to make a pilgrimage every summer to a place called St. John's well, in the county of Meath, in hopes of obtaining relief from their several disorders, by performing at it certain acts of penance and devotion, was deemed an object worthy of the serious consideration of the House of Commons; who accordingly passed a vote, that these sickly devotees « were assembled in that place to the great hazard and danger of the public peace, and safety of the kingdom." They also passed a vote, on the 17th March, 1705, “That all magistrates and other persons whatsoever, who

1 2d Anne, c. 3.
2 2d Anne, c. 7.

3 4th Anne, c. 2. * 6th Anne, c. 1. See also 6 Anne, c. 16. 9. 6. and 8 Anne, c. 3. 6. 26. concerning Priests marrying Protestants.

« ForrigeFortsæt »