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great occasion. During the last session the catholics of Ireland applied to the legislature for a redress of their grievances, which proved ineffectual; their rightful claims were resisted, but the justice of them remained in full force, and seemed rather to acquire new rigour.
It was faid that the applications for relief did not come from the great body of the Catholics, but from a few inconsiderable persons; a just cause never fails to suggest the means of attaining its true level, the gentlemen who conducted the Catholic business, set about removing the objection; and as the first step towards it, agreed upon the following plan, as the most likely means of obtaining the general sense, and which we now annex, as it will be found frequently alluded to in the following sheets.
Circular letter addressed to the Catholic gentlemen of the
kingdom of Ireland, with a plan for electing delegates.
" This letter with the plan which accompanies it, is transmitted to you, by order of the Subcommittee. You will perceive that the object of this plan is to procure a fuller attendance of country gentlemen, to affift, by their advice and influence, the measures adopted by the Committee to procure for the Catholics the Elective Franchise, and an equal participation of the benefits of the Trial by Jury. You will please to lose no time in submitting this to the respectable Catholics of your county.You will please also to inform them, that several respectable independent country gentlemen, lately in Dublin, had frequent consultations, for the laudable purpose of re-uniting to the Committee Lord Fingal, and the other gentlenien who had withdrawn themselves from it. These country gentlemen had the fatisfaction to find, that the general committee on one side, and the gentlemen who had entered into separate addresses on the other, mutually regretted their division; which they saw was used by
the opponents of the Catholics, as a pretext for with holding from our people the Elective Franchise, and an equal participation of the benefits of the Trial by Jury. It is on all fides agreed, that if the Catholics are all'united in this just and reasonable request, essential to the very existence of our people, there will be a certainty of success : it depends then on ourselyes whether we shall be Freemen or Slaves! We fay, essential to the very existence of our people: for, as the rage for eléctioneering interest increases, our wealthy farmers must either pay beyond the value for lands, or resign them to Protestant freeholders when out of lease ; our poorer yeomanty will of course be expelled, and driven into beggary. Let us all then, fpeak with one voice, and supplicate the legislature for justice and we shall receive
¢ These independent country gentlemen have rea ceived from Lord Fingal, and the gentlemen who have acted with him, the most positive declarations, that they will never again enter into any act to oppose the General Committee in their endeavours to obtain the emancipation of the Catholics, and it is determined that all former differences in opinion thall be buried in oblivion on both sides,
" The committee had decided to fend some of their body, to propose to the counties to appoint Delegates to the Committee, of whose attendance there would be a certainty; and our Chairman had actually left Dublin, with intention to go through a great part of Ireland for this purpose; the independent country gentlemen, as before mentioned,
through a great part of Ireland for this purpose ; the independent country gentlemen, as before mentioned, took up the fame idea themselves, (before they knew the Cominittee had determined upon it) and they, and lord Fingal and his friends, all agreed in preliing such a measure on the Conmittee, as an additional cause of re-uniiing hein to the body.
“ Lord Fingal, his friends, and the country gentlemen before mentioned, seemed at first inclined that the present Committee should be aissolved; an opinion, however, which fur her reflection on the various difficuliies resulting from such a measure, the doubts entertained of the competency in the Committee to dissolve itself, and the confideration that a diffoluiion must necessarily occur early in 1793, induced them to forego.
“ The plan inclosed, sanctioned by the General Committee, by these independent genriemen, and by lord Fingal, and his friends, is recommended to your zeal to have carried into immediate execution in your county.
“ I am, Sir,
“ EDWARD BYRNE.” Delegates were accordingly elected, and having repaired to Dublin, opened their Conventional Session at the Taylor's-Hall, on the 3d of December, 1792 ; where after some days spent in discussing the objects of their important mission, among other mealures adopted, was a petition to the throne, which the following members were appointed to carry to the king ; Mr. Edward Byrne, Mr. John Keogh, Mr. Devereux, Mr.
Bellew, and Sir Thomas French. Ihe Petition was in these words:
TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT
The humble petition of the under figned Catholics, or
behalf of themselves and the rest of the Catholic subjects of the kingdom of Ireland.
Most gracious Sovereign, We, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal fubjecis of your kingdom of Ireland, profelling the Catholic religion, presume to approach your Majesty, who are the common father of all your people, and humbly to submit to your eonsideration the manifold incapacities and oppressive disqualifications under which we labour.
For, may it please your majesty, after a century of uninterrupted loyalty, in which time five foreign wars, and two domestic rebellions have occurred, after having taken every oath of allegiance and fidelity to your Majesty, and given, and being still ready to give, every pledge which can be devised for their peaceable demeanour and unconditional submission to the laws, the Catholics of Ireland stand obnoxious to a long catalogue of statutes, inflicting on dutiful and meritorious subjects pains and penalties of an extent and severity which scarce any degree of delinquency can warrant, and prolonged to a period when no necessity can be alledged to justify their continuance.
In the first place, we beg leave with all humility to represent to your Majesty, that notwithstanding i he lowest departments in your Majesty's Heets and armies, are largely supplied by our numbers, and your revenue in this country to a great degree supported by our contributions, we are disabled from serving your Majesty in any