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value of the coin was depressed ; that a lady could not go out shopping without taking a waggon-load of the vile halfpence along with her; that a gentleman of moderate property would require scores of horses to draw home his half-year's rent; and that even the beggars would be ruined, -as a halfpenny would not do a poor man more service than three pins out of the sleeve. The Dean even degraded the pulpit by preaching against Wood's halfpence; and instigated all classes of the people to refuse the odious metal. In the end, it was found necessary to withdraw the coin from circulation : and Wood was indemnified, by a large annuity, for the loss of his patent.
This agitation had nearly reached a climax when Lindsay, the Jacobite Archbishop of Armagh, died. Many expected that the Archbishop of Dublin would have been appointed his successor, as he had more than once rendered good service to the Government; but King was now labouring under the increasing infirmities of age ; ? and his vexatious opposition to the Act for the toleration of Dissenters had given great offence to the British ministry. As the Primate was often employed in affairs of State, and as the political firmament exhibited so many signs of perturbation, it was resolved to appoint a divine in the full vigour of life to the vacant dignity; and, as the national spirit was now revealing itself with such uncomfortable earnestness, it was deemed prudent to select an Englishman for the office. The choice fell on Dr. Hugh Boulter, Bishop of Bristol, a man of great talent, sagacity, and energy. He filled the see of Armagh for eighteen years ; :
1 In 1715, when the Irish Lords and Commons signed a loyal engagement to George I., “the Primate, after a three days' struggle, when every one but him. self had signed, at length attached his name with an ill grace on the margin of the page, from which it could be cut off when the Pretender came to his own."FROUDE's English in Ireland, i. 384. The bond, with Lindsay's name attached, as described, is in the Record Office. Ibid. note.
? When Boulter, on his arrival in Ireland, first visited him, King is reported to have received the stranger sitting. He was evidently mortified because he had been passed over in the appointment to the Primacy on account of his age ; and he excused himself for keeping his seat by saying :-"My Lord, I am sure your Grace will forgive me, because, you know, I am too old to rise.” Mant, ii. 419.
3 From 1724 to 1742.
and meanwhile acted a conspicuous part in the government of the country. He was no less than thirteen times one of the Lords Justices; and, during the entire period of his primacy, he was the confidential adviser of the existing administration. He was endowed with a far more liberal spirit than many of his episcopal contemporaries; and, in his treatment of the Presbyterians, he was generally kind and considerate.
Primate Boulter was distinguished by the munificence of his benefactions. He had an ample fortune ; and, during his life, he gave away much money for public objects. He left no issue : and, in his will, he bequeathed a large amount of property to the Established Church of Ireland. 3 sessed not a few noble qualities; and he appears to have been not altogether inattentive to the affairs of his diocese: but, when Primate of all Ireland, he was known, rather as a politician, than as a divine. He was the head of what was called "the English interest;" he steadily resisted the movements of “the patriots ;” and his great aim, as a statesman, was to secure the ascendency of English influence in the affairs of Ireland. In appointments to ecclesiastical offices, his advice had great weight: on grounds of public policy, he promoted the advancement of Englishmen; and, in his recommendations to benefices and bishoprics, he was quite too much guided by merely secular considerations. , A zealous adherent of the House of Hanover was much more likely to
ters, which have been published, supply much information respecting Irish affairs from 1724 to 1738.
? He gave pecuniary aid towards forming a canal from Newry to the river Bann, and thus opening a communication with Lough Neagh. He built four houses in Drogheda for the widows of clergymen, and endowed them with part of the proceeds of an estate purchased at his own expense. He sent the sons of many of his clergy to Trinity College, Dublin, where he maintained them at his own cost
st; and he contributed largely to the charitable institutions of Dublin. See Stuart's Armagh, pp. 426-7.
3 “The bulk of his property, after a suitable provision for his widow, during her life, and a few testamentary bequests, was appropriated, to an amount exceeding £30,000, to the purchase of glebes for the clergy and the augmentation and improvement of small benefices."— MANT, ii. 505. See also appendix to Report of Her Majesty's Commissioners on the Revenues and Condition of the Established Church (Ireland) 1868, p. 129. In the 23rd of George II., chap. xviii. provision is made for the management of this bequest.
secure his patronage than a candidate known only as an efficient pastor or a sound theologian. Irishmen complained bitterly that the best places in their own Church establishment were bestowed on strangers. “It is a miserable thing,” said Archbishop King, “to see men who have spent their strength and youth in serving the Church successfully, left destitute in their old age; and others, who never served a cure, have heaps of benefices thrown upon them ... 'Tis a grief to me to consider that I have above forty curates in my diocese, most of them worthy men, and some that have served near twenty years, and I not able to give or procure them a vicarage."1
In the selection of natives of the sister kingdom to benefices in Ireland, no attention whatever appears to have beer paid to their religious sentiments. In the reign of George I. Arianism was more or less openly professed by various divines of the English Establishment: and there is too much reason to believe that heterodoxy of a dangerous type was imbibed by some of the Irish episcopal clergy. Subscription to the Articles was often treated as little better than an unmeaning ceremony, to which it was necessary to submit as a qualification for office. The secular spirit displayed by not a few of the Irish dignitaries attracted general notice, and occasionally provoked severe animadversion. One of the best of the order has himself commented sharply on their neglect of duty. “If,” said he, “bishops take the course that is too much in practice, to fix in Dublin, and only make an excursion once in the year into their diocese, I am afraid the gentry and people of the country will not easily find out of what use they are ; and to have a set of men looked on as useless is, I am afraid, a great temptation to lay them aside."
1 Mant, ii. 369, 386, 420, 426. “Since my Lord Lieutenant was nominated to the Government,” says Archbishop King in December, 1725, “about £18,000 annual rent have been given in benefices, employments, and places to strangers, and not £500 to any in Ireland.” Ibid, ii. 445.
* See letter of Archbishop King, dated April 24th, 1720. Mant, ii. 358. See also Mant, ii. 424.
• Letter of Archbishop King to Archbishop Wake, dated April 12th, 1790. See Mant, ii. 366-7.
In this reign the strength of the Protestant population, especially in Ulster, began to be seriously impaired by emigration. Immediately after the Revolution, there was much unoccupied land in the country; and natives of Scotland-hcaring from their relatives already in Ireland of the fertility of the soil and the cheapness of the farms-were induced, in considerable numbers, to settle in the northern province.” They seldom obtained leases for a longer term than twenty-one or thirtyone years; and, when their time was expired, landlords often asked double, and not unfrequently treble, the former rents.3 There was a claim for a corresponding advance in tithe ; and the settlers, discouraged by these demands, were led to think of giving up their holdings, and of crossing the great Atlantic. In some instances ministers and their flocks emigrated in a body ;t and the favourable reports, received from those who first ventured to pass over to the Western world, emboldened others to follow them. Most of the tenants were Presbyterians; and the political disabilities under which they laboured in Ireland, as well as the evident partiality shown, by the episcopal landowners, to conformists, stimulated their desire for emigration. Towards the close of the reign of George I. a succession of bad harvests increased the hardships of the oppressed cultivators; and still further promoted the movement towards the shores of the Western hemisphere. Thus it is that, at the present day, so many of the citizens of the great American Republic trace their descent from ancestors who emigrated from the north of Ireland.
| Froude says, “Twenty thousand left Ulster on the destruction of the woollen trade. Many more were driven away by the first passing of the Test Act. The stream had slackened in the hope that the law would be altered.
When the prospect was finally closed, men of spirit and energy refused to remain in a country where they were held unfit to receive the right of citizens."--English in Ireland, i. 392.
Story states that in 1693 at least ten thousand people came out of Scotland into Ireland. See p. 172, note (5) of this volume.
3 See letter of Archbishop King, dated June 2nd, 1719, in Mant, ii. 331-2. See also Hist. of Presb. Church in Ireland, iii. 224-5.
4 llist. of Presb. Church in Ireland, iii. 225.
3 The bishops were in the habit of inserting clauses in the leases of their lands by which the grants were forfeited should the tenants permit meeting-houses to be erected on them. Episcopal landlords often refused sites for such buildings. Reid, iii. 22. VOL. II.
TIE REIGN OF GEORGE II. A.D. 1727 TO A.D. 1760.
WHEN George II. succeeded to the throne, the Protestant Episcopalians of Ireland were in the exclusive enjoyment of all offices of influence, emolument, and dignity. They alone acted as judges, sheriffs, and magistrates; they alone were eligible for promotion in the University; they alone were to be found in the Irish House of Lords; and, with very few exceptions, they alone were members of the Irish House of Commons. They were but a fraction of the whole population; they were little more than the one half even of the Protestant inhabitants ;t and yet they alone made the laws, and governed the country. The Romanists, heartbroken by a long series of disasters, had almost entirely lost their spirit; and the Presbyterians, discountenanced by episcopalian landlords, and discouraged by the demand for increased rents, were passing away every year in thousands to the American plantations. But the Established Church, with all its advantages, was barely able to maintain its ground. Instead of
i In the reign of Queen Anne the Protestant Non-conformists claimed to be at least equal numerically to the members of the Established Church. See Kirkpatrick's Presbyterian Loyalty, p. 564. But their continued emigration from the North of Ireland to America probably left them in a minority in the beginning of the reign of George II. Had it not been for their constant emigration in such large numbers, the Irish Presbyterians would, at this day, far exceed the Irish Episcopalians in numbers.
2 In 1731 there were in Ireland, according to Burke in his Hibernia Dominicana, p. 28, 2,010,221 of a population-made up of 1,309, 768 Romanists, and 700,453 Protestants. This is apparently a grossly incorrect estimate. In 1733 it was computed that there were about three papists to one Protestant. See Frazer's