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flocks in wedlock; and the Presbyterian pastors, since their first settlement in the country, had uniformly exercised the same liberty; but though King did not dare to attempt to wrest the privilege from the Romish clergy, he and other prelates used all their influence to deprive the non-conforming ministers of the right of celebrating marriage. Nor were these ministers the only parties involved in trouble. Attempts were made in the bishops' courts to bastardize the children of those who had been thus married; and the laity were harassed by lawsuits at once cruelly insulting, protracted, and expensive.2
The reason why the tyrant minority which now ruled in Ireland did not think of taking away the right of celebrating marriage from the priesthood, is sufficiently obvious. According to the doctrine of the Church of Rome, marriage is a sacrament; and a popish clergyman is its legitimate administrator. A Romanist submitting to marriage by a Protestant celebrant virtually relinquishes his faith: and, as the adherents of the Pope were the overwhelming bulk of the inhabitants, Government recoiled from a policy which would have goaded the multitude to desperation, and might have driven them into open rebellion. But persecution was pressed, in other forms, almost to the utmost limits of endurance ; and we can account for the continued quiescence of a whole people only on the ground that the bolder spirits had already been expatriated; and that the residue, after the failure of the struggle of the Revolution, were so terribly disheartened that they deemed further opposition hopeless.
The records of a Parliament which commenced its sittings in Dublin in September, 1703, present a dark array of penal enactments.
One of them-entitled "An Act to prevent popish priests from coming into the kingdom”3—awards con
i Immediately after the accession of Anne, we find King adverting to this subject in one of his letters. See Mant, ii. 127.
2 In 1704 certain members of the Presbyterian congregation of Lisburn, as well as others, were excommunicated by the Ecclesiastical Courts for having been married by Presbyterian ministers. Reid, ii. 492, 517, 521, 522. 3 The 2nd of Anne, chap. iii. VOL. II.
dign punishment to all who violate its provisions ; imposes heavy penalties on those who “harbour, relieve, conceal, or entertain” any such offenders; and mulcts, in a fine of one hundred pounds, "any mayor, justice of the peace, or other officer,” convicted of negligence in the execution of the law. Another Act-described as intended “to prevent the further growth of Popery," and consisting of no less than eight-andtwenty sections is a most elaborate specimen of oppressive legislation. It provides that anyone persuading a Protestant to embrace Popery, and every such pervert, shall incur the penalty of premunire ;3 that, if the eldest son of a popish landlord conforms to the Established Church, the father shall hold the estate only as tenant for life, whilst the son shall be proprietor in fee; that the orphan children of popish parents shall be entrusted to Protestant guardians, and brought up in the Protestant religion ; that any papist undertaking such guardianship shall be liable to a penalty of five hundred pounds; that no papist shall be at liberty to purchase lands held for a longer term than thirty-one years, and let at less than two-thirds of the improved annual value ; that a papist who has inherited from a Protestant any estate, tenement, or hereditament in fee, and who does not, within a specified time, conform to the Established Church, shall not be entitled to continue in the enjoyment of the property; that a papist, who is the owner of a freehold, shall not have power to bequeath it to his eldest son; that, at his death, it shall be split up, in equal portions, among all his male children; but that the law of primogeniture shall be maintained should the eldest son, within three months after his father's death, produce a certificate from the Protestant bishop of the diocese, stating that he belongs to the Church as by law established; that no papist shall be capable of voting at an election for a member of Parliament until he has taken the oaths of allegiance and abjuration :4 and that all persons assembling at St. Patrick's
They were rendered liable to the penalties imposed by the gth of William and Mary, chap. iii., s. 1-according to which any ecclesiastic returning into the country, after having been sent out of it, was declared to be guilty of high treason. See before, p. 179 of this volume. 2 The 2nd of Anne, chap. vi.
3 See vol. i., p. 376, note (2). * The following formed part of the oath of abjuration :-"I do solemnly and
Purgatory, Lough Derg, shall incur a fine of ten shillings each ; and, in default of payment, shall receive a public whipping. Another Act passed in this Parliament? was intended to ascertain the exact number of popish priests in the kingdom, their respective places of abode, the names of the bishops3 who ordained them, and other more minute details—so that the whole history of each might be in possession of the Government. It provides that every priest shall furnish the required information to the clerk of the peace at the next general quarter sessions ;4 that he shall then and there enter
sincerely declare that I do believe in my conscience that the person pretended to be Prince of Wales during the life of the late King James, and since his decease pretending to be, and taking upon himself the style and title of King of England, by the name of James III., hath not any right or title whatever to the crown of this realm.” 1 See vol. i., p. 298.
2 The 2nd of Anne, chap. vii. 3 A Roman Catholic bishop who now remained in Ireland incurred no little danger; and yet some still were to be found in the country. One is said to have hired himself as a shepherd in the uplands of Magilligan, and thus escaped detection. See Fitzpatrick's Life, Times and Correspondence of Dr. Doyle, i. 169.
4 The following return of the number of popish clergy in Ireland, made to the Clerk of the Council in 1704, in accordance with this Act, is interesting at the present day :Co. Armagh 19 Co. Londonderry
14 Antrim. 18 Longford
47 City of Cork
4 City of Limerick . Co. Carlow.
25 Cavan 30 Monaghan .
55 City of Dublin. 34 Queen's Co.
15 Town of Drogheda
49 Co. Down. 30 Sligo
45 Fermanagh 13 Tyrone .
34 Town of Galway
8 Waterford. Co. Kerry 36 City of Waterford .
6 Kilkenny 26 Co. Wicklow
13 City of Kilkenny
35 Co. Kildare.
Town of Youghall King's Co.
Total number of registered Co, Lowth.
$1,081 Ware's Works, Gesta Hibernorum, p. 195, ed. Dublin, 1705. It appears that there were many other priests still in the country who were not registered. See Madden's United Irishmen, second series, Hist. Introd., vol. i., p. Ivii-lix.
14 priests in 1704
into recognizance with two sufficient securities, each in the penal sum of fifty pounds sterling, to be of peaceable behaviour, and not travel beyond the verge of the county in which he is resident; and that, should he fail to make the required return and give the necessary security, he shall be committed to the common jail, and remain there, without bail or mainprise, until sent out of the kingdom. According to another section of this Act every popish priest, on becoming a convert to Protestantism, was to receive a pension of twenty pounds yearly to be levied as part of the county cess; he was to be amenable to the jurisdiction of the bishop of the diocese “in like manner as the rest of the inferior clergy ;”and he was “to read the Common Prayer, or Liturgy of the Church of Ireland, in the English or Irish tongue, in such places and at such times" as the diocesan should appoint.
The Jesuits have often been denounced for their tortuous and dishonest policy; and their casuistry has been deservedly held up to execration : but the penal laws, sanctioned by Irish Protestant bishops in the reign of Queen Anne, can scarcely be surpassed in baseness by the scheming of the disciples of Ignatius Loyola. It was a dark day for Protestantism when its guardians sought to promote its extension by a system of barefaced bribery. A Roman Catholic gentleman could not well afford to administer a very sharp rebuke to a prodigal son ; for the rake might proclaim himself a Protestant, and then demand an independent maintenance. Romish mothers, in the hour of death, could not entrust their orphan children to the care of brothers or sisters; for, if their relatives belonged to their own communion, they incurred a crushing penalty by undertaking the guardianship. A Romanist could not vote at the election of a member of Parliament, without doing violence to his convictions by taking the oath of abjuration. These penal laws served, not to guide, but to debauch the conscience. It was not extraordinary that infidelity was rampant during the period of their continuance ; ? for they lowered the tone of public morals by setting up religion to sale, and by holding out countless temptations to practise hypocrisy. It was not remarkable that honest Romanists were confirmed in their prejudices when they saw the abominable artifices employed to seduce them from their religion. No Church could be strengthened by converts thus obtained. The bill to prevent the further growth of Popery involved a scandalous violation of the Treaty of Limerick. When it was still under the consideration of the Legislature, the Roman Catholics petitioned to be heard against it by counsel; and their advocate, Sir Theobald Butler, proved, by the most cogent arguments, that it was unchristian and impolitic, as well as a breach of public faith; but his appeals were disregarded The petitioners were told, in mockery, that it would be their own fault if they were deprived of the benefits of the Articles of Limerick, as they could readily secure all these advantages by conformity. Some of the members of the Irish House of Commons felt themselves so compromised by this odious law that they resigned their seats in disgust.5
* At this time there were clergymen of the Established Church with incomes of from £10 to £ 16 a year. Mant, ii. 204.
2 The 2nd of Anne, chap. vii., s. 2. The bishops received the priests as ordained clergymen : but they re-ordained Presbyterian ministers who conformed.
3 The 2nd of Anne, chap. vii., S. 2.
In this Act there was a clause which proved exceedingly galling to Protestant non-conformists. It provided that every person in any office, civil or military, or receiving any salary for any place of trust under the Crown, must qualify himself for the appointment by partaking of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, according to the usage of the Established Church. The bishops had been long labouring to procure
1 It is now universally admitted that the young prince was not a supposititious child, as was then alleged. The Episcopalian Jacobites believed that the person known as the Pretender was the true heir to the crown.
In 1736 we find Bishop Butler saying, in the advertisement prefixed to his Analogy :-“It is come, I know not how, to be taken for granted, by many persons, that Christianity is not so much as a subject of inquiry ; but that it is now at length discovered to be fictitious. And accordingly they treat it as if, in the present age, this were an agreed point among all people of discernment.”
3 The reader may find an outline of his speech on the occasion in Plowden's Ilist. Review, i., appendix lii. 216-228. 4 Plowden's Hist. Review, i. 213.
5 Ibid. 211 ; Haverty, p. 681.