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ciscan friar then resident in London,1 who had been appointed by the Irish Romanists, with the papal primate of Armagh at their head, to act as their Procurator, or accredited agent, in the English metropolis. When submitted to Government, the Duke of Ormonde immediately objected that it was not properly authenticated-as it wanted the signatures of the parties from whom it professed to emanate. To remove this difficulty, Oliver Darcy, the Romish bishop of Dromore, and twenty-four Irish priests then living in disguise in the British. capital, at once affixed their names to it; but five or six others —afraid, as it would appear, of the displeasure of the Court of Rome-withheld their subscriptions. The Romish nobility and gentry of Ireland, with great unanimity, adopted the Remonstrance. Early in 1662 many of them met at the house of Earl Clanricarde, in Dublin; and among those who then had signed it were Lords Castlehaven, Clancarty, Carlingford, Mountgarret, Fingal, Tyrconnel, Galmoy, and Gormanstown.3 Upwards of two hundred of the principal inhabitants of the county and town of Wexford also annexed their signatures.* An account of these proceedings in due time reached Rome;
1 Peter Walsh was born at Moortown in County Kildare early in the seventeenth century. He was educated at Louvain, where he was for some time Professor of Divinity. He possessed great learning and undoubted ability. He is noticed by Mr. T. D. McGee in his Irish Writers of the Seventeenth Century; but he there receives very scant justice, as he was immensely superior to many of the authors bepraised. It is unfair to speak of him as the mere shadow of Ormonde. He came into collision with the Nuncionists (see before, p. 91), and they could never forgive him for his opposition to them. His offence was all the more intolerable, inasmuch as his arguments were unanswerable. He was an honest and independent Irishman; and, though a sincere Romanist, he could never swallow the doctrine of slavish submission to the Pope. It has been alleged that, at the last, he recanted his principles; and Brenan (Ecc. Hist. of Ireland, p. 486) has published a document, dated 13th of March, 1688, apparently extorted from him when at the point of death, in which he promises to withdraw anything in his published works "which may be deemed necessary either to be condemned or suppressed;" but no reliance can be placed on such a paper. Forgeries of this kind are numberless: and the signature of a man in a state of unconsciousness to any memorial is of no value. Peter Walsh was a zealous Jansenist.
2 See O'Conor's Historical Address, part i., p. 107. 3 Some of these had signed it shortly before in London. the Remonstrance, pp. 11, 95. See also Brenan, p. 479. 4 Brenan, p. 479. PP. 99, 100.
See Walsh's Hist. of
See the names in Walsh's History of the Remonstrance,
and it was soon obvious that they were exceedingly disliked by the sovereign Pontiff. The Remonstrance implied that the Pope was very far from infallible; that in times past he had acted as a sower of sedition; and that circumstances might arise in which it would be perfectly right to resist the dictation of his Briefs and Bulls. Such sentiments were quite at variance with the absolute submission which he claimed. The Nuncio at Brussels-who had the charge of ecclesiastical affairs in Ireland-promptly interposed, and addressed an admonitory letter to the Hibernian clergy, in which he denounced the priests who had subscribed the document as Valesian heretics. He declared, in the same epistle, that such a memorial would injure the Church more than any former persecution; and exhorted the faithful to submit to martyrdom rather than annex their signatures. Cardinal Barberini, in the name of the whole congregation of the Propaganda, addressed to the nobility and gentry a similar epistle. These communications appear to have been but little regarded by the more intelligent laity; but their influence on the clergy was decided. Of two thousand priests resident in Ireland in 1665, only sixty-nine ventured to put their names to the Remonstrance. Another formula, expressive of loyalty, was proposed; but, by those acquainted with the subtle distinctions of Romish theologians, it was deemed evasive and jesuitical. The subject created great excitement; and it was at length arranged that a national synod should assemble for its discussion.
This Synod met at Dublin, by connivance of the Duke of Ormonde, on the 11th of June, 1666. It sat for upwards of a fortnight and meanwhile Peter Walsh, who had already acted such a prominent part in the affair, vindicated at great
1 O'Conor's Hist. Address, part ii. 160. Valesius was Walsh Latinized. See also Walsh's Hist. of the Remonstrance, p. 16.
2 O'Conor's Hist. Address, ii. 161; Brenan, p. 480.
3 Walsh's Hist. of the Remonstrance, p. 17.
Brenan, p. 481. Of these 2,000 priests, 1,200 were secular and 800 regular clergy. See Cambrensis Eversus, by Kelly, i. 60, 61, note. It appears from this that Romish priests, in great numbers, must have flocked back to Ireland immediately after the Restoration,
length, the sentiments embodied in the Remonstrance. his arguments were addressed to a hostile auditory. Edmund O'Reilly, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh 1—who had been obliged to leave the country at the Restoration-now reappeared; and presented to the Synod various official communications from the Nuncio and others, all condemnatory of the paper which had created so much controversy. O'Reilly was an adept in the chicanery of the Jesuits: he had induced the Lord Lieutenant to believe that, if suffered to come to Ireland, he would support the views of Peter Walsh; 2 and, deceived by his fair professions, Ormonde had given him permission to return: but, when he presented himself before the Synod, he threw off his disguise, and most energetically denounced the Remonstrance. The document was, in consequence, condemned, and another formula of allegiance. adopted; but, though this new protestation seemed to be very satisfactory, some of the proceedings of the Synod were fitted to awaken the suspicion that; after all, implicit confidence could not be placed in the loyalty of Romanists. When it was moved that such of the clergy as had rendered themselves obnoxious to the laws during the civil war should
1 O'Reilly was R. C. Primate of Armagh from 1654 to 1669. If we may believe Peter Walsh, he was one of the most contemptible of mortals. Hist. of the Remonstrance, pp. 608-9. See also an account of him in O'Conor's Hist. Address, part ii. 172-192. The following letter to Ormonde, in which he supplicates for leave to visit Ireland, is a specimen of his servility and low cunning :
"I am the Publican standing afar off, not daring to lift up mine eyes to the heavens and your Grace; but knocking my breast, humbly pray your Excellency be pleased to be favourable to me, and make me partaker of his Majesty's unparalleled mercies: promising in the sight of God and his angels that I will endeavour to comply in all points with his Sovereign Majesty's most gracious will, and your Excellency's commands, as far as shall become a modest, faithful and thankful subject. If otherwise, who am I? but a worm, the reproach of mankind, the vilitie of the people, a dead dog, a flea.
"And yet, my gracious Lord,
"Your Excellency's most humble servant,
PARIS, August 31, 1665.-WALSH's Hist. of the Remonstrance, p. 611.
2 Leland, iii. 461.
3 See a copy of this document in Brenan, appendix v., 676-7.
implore the pardon of the Government, the party headed by the primate proudly declared that they knew of no crime they had committed.1 The Synod broke up in confusion; and those who had opposed the Ultramontane spirit of the majority were afterwards made to feel the weight of ecclesiastical vengeance.2
Before the Restoration the Roman Catholic hierarchy had been brought very low in Ireland. We have seen that in 1653, only one bishop remained in the island; a number of the prelates who attended the Dublin Synod in 1666 soon afterwards took their departure for the continent; and, at the close of the year 1668, not more than two members of the episcopal order were to be found in the country. As they could now live in it with perfect safety, the Court of Rome took steps to add to their numbers; and in 1669 four archbishops and one bishop were consecrated. These were Oliver Plunket, Archbishop of Armagh; Peter Talbot, Archbisbop of Dublin; William Burgatt, Archbishop of Cashel; James Lynch, Archbishop of Tuam; and James Phelan, Bishop of Ossory. Other appointments soon followed. A contemporary states that, between the years 1669 and 1673, thirteen or fourteen Romish prelates "publicly and freely lived and exercised their functions at home in Ireland." During the same period the inferior clergy-already sufficiently numerous-were greatly increased. Patrick Plunket,
1 Leland, iii. 461; Cox, Charles II., p. 8. O'Reilly, before coming to Ireland, had expressly declared that the R. C. clergy should ask the King's pardon for their misconduct during the preceding twenty-five years. Walsh's Hist. of the Remonstrance, p. 612. 2 Leland, iii. 462.
3 See before, p. 117.
4 Moran's Memoirs of Oliver Plunket, p. 20. The two bishops now in Ireland were Patrick Plunket of Ardagh and Sweeny of Kilmore. Notwithstanding his intemperate habits, Sweeny still lived. He is described at this time as "either delirious or deficient in many things."-Ibid. p. 31.
5 Ibid. pp. 20, 29.
6 Walsh's Hist. of the Remonstrance, p. 747.
7 Patrick Plunket, the son of Lord Killeen, was made R. C. Bishop of Ardagh in 1647. In 1669 he was advanced to the see of Meath. He died in November, 1679. Cogan's Diocese of Meath, ii. 97, 118, 127. He lived a number of years on the Continent, where he had from the French King a free house and garden, and a pension of 300 pistoles a year. Walsh's Hist. of the Remonstrance, p. 750.
the Roman Catholic Bishop of Ardagh, is said to have been mainly instrumental in their multiplication. Nor was he very fastidious in the choice of those whom he admitted to the priesthood. It is reported of him, by a respectable witness, that "a vast number of all sorts of most illiterate, and otherwise too in all respects contemptible persons were ordained by him; whereby, it is added, "the order of priesthood is now despised, even amongst those of the Roman Catholic profession."1
Ever since the accession of Charles II. to the throne, the Romish party had been using their influence at the English Court in favour of their Church in Ireland. For years the King was prevented by prudential considerations from giving them very open encouragement; but at length, in 1670, he ventured on a more decided policy. In the month of May of that year Lord Berkeley became Viceroy. The new Lord Lieutenant, in his public instructions,2 was enjoined to use all his influence for the support of the Established Church, and the discouragement of Popery; but it was soon manifest that he was not disposed to act up strictly to the letter of these requirements. It was believed that he had received secret orders quite different from those openly acknowledged—an impression which was strengthened by the fact that his administration was very favourable to Romanism. Its adherents acted with a boldness which they had not exhibited since the days of the Confederation. Provincial councils and diocesan synods were held by the Romish prelates throughout the kingdom; and those of their clergy who had signed the
1 Walsh's Hist. of the Remonstrance, pp. 748-9. In 1673 we find Archbishop Plunket himself complaining that the priests were too numerous." "Every gentleman," says he, "desires a chaplain; and is anxious to hear mass in his room, under pretence of fear of the Government."-MORAN'S Memoirs of Plunket, p. 86.
2 These instructions may be found in Cox, Charles II., pp. 9-11.
3 Cox, Charles II., p. 11. Even in the Protestant parts of the country the priests at this time seem to have enjoyed perfect impunity. In a letter written by Oliver Plunket, the R.C. Primate, and dated the 23rd of February, 1671 (2), it is stated that three priests sent to minister in the Hebrides by the Marquis of Antrim would not consent to remain there because they had “good parishes in the County Antrim."-Hill's Macdonnels of Antrim, p. 345.