Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

CHAPTER IV.

FROM THE DEATH OF CHARLES I. TO THE RESTORATION,

A.D. 1649 TO A.D. 1660.

DURING the earlier portion of the interval between the death of Charles I. and the Restoration, Ireland presented a spectacle of almost unparalleled wretchedness. At the commencement of this period it had already suffered, for seven years, from a desolating civil war. Famine and pestilence now supervened, and intensified its misery. The pestilence appeared first in Connaught; and soon spread over Leinster and Munster. At a time when the population of Dublin did not probably exceed fifty thousand, thirteen hundred persons died there weekly of the plague. In the eleven years which immediately succeeded the breaking out of the rebellion, the kingdom is said to have lost fully two-fifths of its inhabitants.

If we believe that God is the moral governor of the world, we cannot peruse the history of these times without seeing His hand in the awful calamities poured out on unhappy Ireland. “ The Lord is known by the judgment which He

i Peter Walsh states that “the great plague, which began in the year 1649, continued above three years, running over all parts and corners of the island, except only the North.-Hist. of Remon., p. 585.

? Sir Wm. Petty reckons the population of Dublin in 1681 at 58,045. Political Arithmetic, p. 129. Tracts. Dublin, 1769.

Petty, Political Anatomy, p. 314. Tracts. 4 Sir Wm. Petty, the highest authority in Irish statistics, computes that in 1641 Ireland had a population of 1,466,000 souls ; and in 1652, of only 850,000. Political Anatoniy, p. 312. Tracts. Hardiman states that in two years, during this interval, upwards of the one-third of the population of Connaught was swept away. History of Galway, p. 134. Prendergast asserts most absurdly that "fivesixths" of the people now perished. Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland, p. 307. London, 1870.

executeth;”1 and in His dealings with nations we may often trace a remarkable correspondence between misconduct and its providential punishment. Protestantism had been the established religion of the island for well-nigh a century; and yet it had done very little for the spiritual benefit of the people. Instead of labouring to win their confidence by treating them with forbearance and with kindness, by addressing itself in right earnest to the task of their instruction, and by diffusing among them a knowledge of the Gospel through the agency of faithful and able preachers, it had set up a costly hierarchy closely resembling that of Rome; it had compelled all its ministers to use a Liturgy, with which many of them were dissatisfied; it had tried to sustain itself by leaning on the royal authority; and it had aimed to promote its advancement by bribing the unprincipled, and coercing the conscientious. When a good man, such as Bedell, endeavoured to make the natives acquainted with the Word of God through the medium of their own language, his efforts were opposed and thwarted by his own brethren. Now, the hierarchy was prostrated : the King had fallen by the hand of the executioner: and the Liturgy was proscribed. The Episcopal Church, recently so rampant, now found itself utterly helpless. Popery all the while had been engaged in a determined struggle to recover its ascendency. But it had used the most unwarrantable means for the attainment of its object. Its priests and bishops had ever and anon been concocting treason, applying to foreigners for aid, and prompting them to invade the country. They had a large share in fomenting the rebellion which had led to such distress and bloodshed. And terrible was the retribution. They had sown to the wind, and they reaped the whirlwind. They were compelled to drink deeply of the reservoirs of sorrow which they had themselves filled. As we proceed to review the history of the various religious parties in the country during the period before us, the truth of these remarks will be fully confirmed.

In the interval between the death of Charles I. and the Restoration, the public celebration of the service of the Episthe treaty with Ormonde, was formally disowned ; and hostilities continued.

1 Ps. ix. 16.

When the Confederation was first formed, its executive government was entrusted with the Church patronage. The

Association (see before, p. 59, note (2)) adopted at Kilkenny in May, 1642 : “Moreover I do further swear that I will not accept of, or submit to, any peace made, or to be made, with the said Confederate Catholics, without the consent and approbation of the General Assembly of the said Confederate Catholics. And for the preservation and strengthening of the association and union of the kingdom, that upon any peace or accommodation to be made or concluded with the said Confederate Catholics as aforesaid, I will, to the utmost of my power, insist upon and maintain the ensuing propositions until a peace as aforesaid be made, and the matters to be agreed upon in the articles of peace be established and secured by Parliament." Meehan (Confed. of Kilkenny, p. 29) and others have made this addition a part of the oath of 1642. But this is obviously a mistake. See the oath in full, as adopted by the General Assembly in January, 1647, in Burke's Hib. Dominicana, supplement, pp. 882, 883. The propositions mentioned in this addition, which were four in number, and which were now insisted on by the clergy, were the following :

“I. That the R.C. clergy and laity, in their respective stations, have the free and public exercise of the R.C. religion and rites throughout the whole kingdom, in the same dignity and splendour as enjoyed in Ireland and England in the reign of Henry VII., or any of the other Catholic Kings, his predecessors.

“II. That the secular clergy of Ireland, viz., primates, archbishops, bishops, ordinaries, deans, &c., &c.—vicars and other pastors, and their respective successors, shall all have and enjoy all jurisdiction, privileges, and immunities, in as full and ample a manner as the R.C. clergy had or enjoyed within this realm at any time during the reign of the late King Henry VII., King of England and Lord of Ireland, any laws, statutes, power, or authority to the contrary notwithstanding.

“III. That all laws and statutes made since the twentieth year of King Henry VIII. (A.D. 1529) whereby any restraint, penalty, or other incapacity is laid upon any Roman Catholics, whether clergy or laity, for the free exercise of the R.C. religion, and of their several functions, jurisdictions, and privileges, may be abrogated, and declared null and void in the next Parliament, by one or more Acts of Parliament to be passed therein.

“IV. That primates, archbishops, bishops, ordinaries, deans, &c., &c., shall have, hold, and enjoy the churches and church-livings in as full and ample a manner as the Protestant clergy respectively enjoyed the same on the ist day of October, 1641, with all their fruits, emoluments, perquisites, liberties, and other rights belonging to the respective dioceses and churches, as well in the places now in the possession of the Confederate Catholics as also in all other places within the kingdom that shall be recovered by them from the adverse party, saving to the R.C. laity their respective rights according to the laws of this realm.” See Burke, Hib. Dominicana, supplement, p. 883; Meehan, pp. 181-2 ; Brenan, P. 460. These propositions were, it appears, submitted by the clergy to the General Assembly on the very first day of its meeting in January, 1647. Cox, ii. 185.

[ocr errors]

reason to acknowledge the goodness of God in this day of adversity. In the beginning of the civil war in England, he joined the royal party; and yielded, with quite too much facility, to courtly influence; but all admitted, notwithstanding, his genuine worth ; and even Cromwell recognized his excellence by giving him a pension of £400 per annum." He spent his latter years under the hospitable roof of the Countess of Peterborough ;? and, at his death, his remains were awarded the honour of a splendid public funeral. Under the Protectorate, Henry Leslie, Bishop of Down and Connor, and John Leslie, Bishop of Raphoe, received each a pension of £120 per annum from Government. Another of the disestablished prelates pursued a most extraordinary course. Henry Jones, Bishop of Clogher, accommodated himself to the times; laid aside for a season the clerical character; and became Scoutmaster General to Oliver Cromwell! 4 He was a formidable swordsman; and, in hand-to-hand fights with the foe, many reeled and fell beneath the blows of the warrior bishop. After the death of Cromwell he changed sides again; interested himself in the restoration of Charles II. ; recovered his bishopric; and subsequently obtained another step of promotion on the episcopal ladder! He died Bishop of Meath in 168 1.6

in 1649 ; and four, the Archbishop of Dublin, and the Bishops of Meath, Kildare, and Killala, died in 1650.

This pension was granted to him as early as 1643 by the English Parliament ; but it was at one time irregularly paid. In the time of the Protector the payments appear to have been more punctual. See Elrington's Life rf Ussher, p. 251.

? See before, p. 6, note (3). After his death his library was purchased for £2,200 by Henry Cromwell, and presented to Trinity College, Dublin. Borlase, p. 315. Elrington alleges that the books were purchased by Cromwell's officers and soldiers, and that they were intended for a new college or hall which Oliver and his son proposed to erect in Dublin. On the accession of Charles II, they were placed in Trinity College. Elrington's Life, p. 303. See also Reid, ii. 253, note. 3 Reid's Hist. of Presb. Church in Ireland, ii. 211, note, 15.

Several other Irish bishops received salaries out of the public treasury. Ibi

4 Carie's Ormonile, ii. 498. See also Journal of the Kilkenny and S. E. of Ireland Arch. Society, vol. vi., new series, 1867, p. 50. He obtained from Oliver Cromwell a grant of Lynch's Knock, the ancient seat of the Lynches of Summerfield, in Meath-now the demesne of Lord Langford. Ibid. p. 62. 6 Nalson's Collections, ii. 535.

6 Mant, i. 736.

the treaty with Ormonde, was formally disowned; and hostilities continued.

When the Confederation was first formed, its executive government was entrusted with the Church patronage. The

Association (see before, p. 59, note (2)) adopted at Kilkenny in May, 1642 : “Moreover I do further swear that I will not accept of, or submit to, any peace made, or to be made, with the said Confederate Catholics, without the consent and approbation of the General Assembly of the said Confederate Catholics. And for the preservation and strengthening of the association and union of the kingdom, that upon any peace or accommodation to be made or concluded with the said Confederate Catholics as aforesaid, I will, to the utmost of my power, insist upon and maintain the ensuing propositions until a peace as aforesaid be made, and the matters to be agreed upon in the articles of peace be established and secured by Parliament." Meehan (Confed. of Kilkenny, p. 29) and others have made this addition a part of the oath of 1642. But this is obviously a mistake. See the oath in full, as adopted by the General Assembly in January, 1647, in Burke's Ilib. Dominicana, supplement, pp. 882, 883. The propositions mentioned in this addition, which were four in number, and which were now insisted on by the clergy, were the following :

“I. That the R.C. clergy and laity, in their respective stations, have the free and public exercise of the R.C. religion and rites throughout the whole kingdom, in the same dignity and splendour as enjoyed in Ireland and England in the reign of Henry VII., or any of the other Catholic Kings, his predecessors.

“II. That the secular clergy of Ireland, viz., primates, archbishops, bishops, ordinaries, deans, &c., &c.--vicars and other pastors, and their respective successors, shall all have and enjoy all jurisdiction, privileges, and immunities, in as sull and ample a manner as the R.C. clergy had or enjoyed within this realm at any time during the reign of the late King Henry VII., King of England and Lord of Ireland, any laws, statutes, power, or authority to the contrary notwithstanding.

“III. That all laws and statutes made since the twentieth year of King Henry VIII. (A.D. 1529) whereby any restraint, penalty, or other incapacity is laid upon any Roman Catholics, whether clergy or laity, for the free exercise of the R.C. religion, and of their several functions, jurisdictions, and privileges, may be abrogated, and declared null and void in the next Parliament, by one or more Acts of Parliament to be passed therein.

“IV. That primates, archbishops, bishops, ordinaries, deans, &c., &c., shall have, hold, and enjoy the churches and church-livings in as full and ample a manner as the Protestant clergy respectively enjoyed the same on the ist day of October, 1641, with all their fruits, emoluments, perquisites, liberties, and other rights belonging to the respective dioceses and churches, as well in the places now in the possession of the Confederate Catholics as also in all other places within the kingdom that shall be recovered by them from the adverse party, saving to the R.C. laity their respective rights according to the laws of this realm.” See Burke, Hib. Dominicana, supplement, p. 883; Meehan, pp. 181-2 ; Brenan, p. 460. These propositions were, it appears, submitted by the clergy to the General Assembly on the very first day of its meeting in January, 1647. Cox, ii. 185.

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »