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In the same hacknied strain, Carte cants on the subject of this immense depredation:
“ The peace of the kingdom was very precarious, whilst these countries remained in a sort of independence on the state, and the inhabitants lived in a contempt of its laws. The king saw it necessary to reduce them into the same order und subjection" (that is, the same state of beggary and ruin in which he had involved the people of the six counties in Ulster) " as the rest of the kingdom : and there, fore, by a special commission, in 1614, had empowered the lord deputy Chichester and others to take a view of the countries,” (and so ascertain how, much he might seize] “ and inquire into the title which the crown had to them, or any part thereof; the estate, number, and condition of the inhabitants; the chiefries, claims, customs, and rents of the present lords; and the best way of reducing and settling them.":405
I have given these statements at length, that the reader may hare a full view of the grounds on which the depredation took place, and may decide on its propriety or justice, and on the merits of the writers from whom the accounts are derived. The flimsy pretext, that “the peace of the country was precarious,” and that these counties were receptacles of robbers," will not stand a moment's examination. Fraud and rapine never wanted a pretext of extenuation or justification. The fable of the wolf and the lamb affords a proper type of this course of proceeding.
If those counties were receptacles of robbers, the proper corrective was to open assizes, and employ courts, sheriffs, and executioners ; not to rob the people of their lands, and turn them out on the highway, to retaliate on the unwary passenger the depredations they suffered from those whose office imposed on them the duty of protection.
The admission of such a paltry defence of so base a system of rapine and plunder, is discreditable to Leland and Carte, and greatly derogates from the credit of their histories. Had they the slightest knowledge of their duty, or did they pay attention to its discharge, they would have marked the act with the reprobation which it so richly merited. There was not a subject in liis dominions, whose estate the rapacious monarch might not have seized, under some pretence or other, equally valid ; nor, in fact, is there an estate under the star-spangled canopy of heaven, which might not be seized with equal justice, and equal regard to " law, honour, and conscience.”
In the “ famous northern plantation, so honourable to king James," according to the very accurate Leland, we have seen that numbers of the natives were despoiled of the paltry modicum of the soil, which the rapacity of the monarch had allotted them, to support a miserable existence. As might be expected, the Leinster adventurers, in order to keep their Ulster friends in countenance, followed their captivating example, and defrauded the natives to precisely the same extent. This verifies the old Latin adage,
" Ad regis exemplum totus componitur orbis." “ In the county of Longford, the natives in general had scarce a
405 Carte, I. 23.
third part of their former possessions, either in number of acres or in value of profitable ground, allotted them. The arts of admeasurement were well understood in those days; and, as the king had directed a certain quantity of unprofitable ground, bog, wood, and mountain, to be thrown into the several proportions of profitable land allotted to British and natives, a great latitude of judgment was left to the commissioners, which some of them knew how to make use of for their advantage.
“ Hence several persons were turned out of large estates of profitable land, and had only a small pittance, less than a fourth part, assigned them for it, in barren ground!!!9406
* In the small county of Longford, we find that twenty-five of one sept were all deprived of their estates, without the least compensation, or any means of subsistence assigned them !!"407 We
may form a tolerably accurate idea of the frightful extent to which the spirit of rapine was carried, from the specimen here exhibited. What a hideous specimen! Proprietors expelled from their large paternal estates, in rich valleys and profitable lands," and receiving less than a fourth part” of the amount in “in barren ground."
To bring the matter home to an American reader, let us suppose a descendant of William Penn, settled on the rich lands in Lancaster, Chester, or Delaware county, and owning bne thousand acres, worth one hundred dollars per acre, expelled from thence, because he “built no houses, nor planted orchards or gardens ;" banished to some of the barren lands in Northumberland or Lycoming, receiving in lieu of his paternal estate, two hundred and fifty acres, scarcely worth two dollars per acre; thus receiving, in lord Clarendon's millenium," that blessed condition of peace and security," five hundred dollars, as an equivalent for a hundred thousand. This is a very fair view of the equitable doctrine of equivalents, as studied and carried into practice by those upright agents of the pious James, who, to use the words of Leland, were employed “to reduce” those whom Carte styles savages, “ to order and subjection.”
But the case of those wretched people, placed on the “barren lands,” and with an equivalent of one-fourth of the number of acres whereof they were plundered, was not, it appears, the most grievous that occurred. We see, that of one single sept, or family, twenty-five were “deprived of their estates” “ without the least compensation, or any means of subsistence allotted them.” How many twenty-fives, how many hundreds, were thus turned out, it is impossible to ascertain. But it is not presuming very far, to suppose, as the one side was destitute of defence, and the other of every sense of honour and justice, that the cases were numerous; and that there were hundreds, perhaps thousands, who were driven out of house and home, and turned loose on society, “ without any means of subsistence allotted them;" and this, let me repeat, (it can never be too often repeated,) during a period, in which Clarendon has dared to impose on a deluded world, the monstrous assertion, that “ whatever their land, labour, or industry produced, was their own, being free from fear of having it taken from them by the king, upon any pretence whatever, without their own consent."*
406 Carte, I, 23.
407 Leland, 11. 546.
When the monarch of three powerful kingdoms, who ought to be a pattern of honour, honesty, and justice, and, as sir John Davies declared, to have scorned to “dispossess the meanest of his subjects wrongfully,” becomes a common depredator on their estates, and acts the part of a ravening wolf, instead of that of a vigilant shepherd, it is not wonderful that such portion of those subjects as form a privileged cast, should prey upon and devour the others. This has ever been, and ever will be, the result, in all analogous cases.
Supra, page 48.
“ An act of most gracious, general, and free pardon," with only
fifty-one classes of exceptions, each averaging four or five species; that is, “a general pardon," with about two hundred exceptions !!!
"Et voilà justement comme on écrit l'histoire."-Voltaire. AMONG the multifarious frauds respecting Ireland, with which the world has been deluded, one of the most palpable remains to be noticed.
It is universally believed, on the uniform declarations of probably all the Anglo-Hibernian writers, that an act of general amnesty, for all offences whatsoever, was passed by the Irish parliament, in the session which commenced anno 1613.*
A perusal of the preceding passages, and of all the writers I have ever examined on the subject, has led the world to give credit to James and his Irish parliament for an exuberant stock of clemency. It has appeared that their motto, and the benignant rule of their conduct, had been Shakspeare's divine commendation of heaven-born mercy:
“ The quality of mercy is not strain'd:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”
goo ** The session concluded with an act of oblivion and general par
“ An act of general pardon and oblivion was made, in confirmation of the royal edict.3409
“ They passed an act of general indemnity for late crimes, with an exception of Tyrone, Tyrconnel, and O'Dogherty."410
"An act of general amnesty and pardon was made, in confirmation of the royal edict.99412
“ An act of general oblivion and indemnity was passed."?419 “ All minds being quieted by a general indemnity."'413
408 Carte, I. 22.
409 Leland, II. 535.
410 Davies, xxv. 413 Hume, III, 308.
in truth and in fact, an act of universal proscription : for in that parliament and king, towards Ireland,
“There was no more mercy, than milk in a male tiger."* This assertion will appear ambiguous: but the ambiguity shall be soon removed. The act in question bears, it is true, in the statutebook, the fraudulent title of 's an act for the king's majestie's most gracious, general, and free pardon.”+ This is as clear and explicit
DOOO0090 + Extracts from “ An Act for the king's majestie's most gracious,
GENERAL, AND FREE PARDON!!!" “ The king's majestie, most graciously considering the good will and faithful hearts of his most loving subjects, which as at all times, so at this present especially, they having with most dutiful affection showed themselves towards his highness; and understanding that the same his loving subjects have many and sundry wayes, by the laws and statute of this realm, fallen into the danger of diverse great penalties and forfeytures, is, of his princely and merciful disposition, most graciously inclined, by his liberal and free pardon, to discharge some part of those great paynes, forfeytures and penalties wherewith his said subjects stand now burdened and charged; trusting they will be thereby the rather moved and induced, from henceforth, more carefully to observe his highness's laws and statutes, and to continue in their loyal and due obedience to his majestie; and therefore his majestie is well pleased and contented, that it be enacted by the authority of this present parliament, in manner and form following, (that is to say,) that all and every the said subjects, as well spiritual as temporal of this his highness's realm of Ireland, the heyres, successors, executors, and administrators of them, and every of them, and all and singular bodies corporate, cities, shires, boroughs, hundreds, baronies, townes, villages, hamlets, and tythings, and every of them, and the successor and successors of every of them, shall be, by the authority of this present parliament, acquitted, pardoned, and released, and discharged against the king's majestie, his heyres and successors, and every of them, of all manner of treasons, felonies, offences, contempts, trespasses, entries, wrongs, deceipts, misdemeanours, forfeytures, penalties, and summs of mony, paynes of death, paynes corporal and pecuniarie, and generally of all other things, causes, quarrels, suites, judgements and executions, in this present act hereafter not excepted nor foreprized.
1. " Except and alwayes foreprized out of this general and free pardon, all and all manner of high treasons, and other offences committed or done by any person or persons against the king's majestie, and all conspiracies and confederacies, trayterously had, committed, or done, by any person or persons, against the king's majestie's royal person ; and all manner of levying warre and all rebellions and insurrections whatsoever had, made, or committed, or done at any time sithence the beginning of his majesty's raigne.
2." And also excepted all and every manner of treasons commit. ted or done, by any person or persons in the parts beyond the seas,