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led Rome to the establishment of her grinding tyranny over the greater part of the then known world, and which has laid the populous
OOOoo trouble put the nurse into so great a distemper, as the physicians attribute the child's sickness to it, and again they are resolved to change her. "21
The queen's confessor had been seized and sent to prison ; but, being bailed, she requested the parliament that he might be allowed to attend her!! 'The house of lords consented-but the house of commons uncourteously and intolerantly refused a compliance with this slight request!!!!
* 1641, Dec. 7. This day, the queen, again, desired of the Lords, that since her confessor Philips, was bailed, he might not be restrained from coming to her. This was consented to by the Lords, but refused by the Commons."92
Six priests had been found guilty of performing their functions, and this act being felony by the then existing Draconian laws of EngJand, they had been sentenced to be hanged. The king had reprieved them, and was desirous to exercise his regal prerogative of pardoning them. This gave great offence to parliament, and occasioned long and ardent debates—and several sanguinary resolves were passed by both houses calling on the king to have the ignominious sentence of the law carried into execution!!!
Extract from “ the humble petition of the lords and commons to the king :
“ 1642. And whereas six priests, now in Newgate, are condemned to die, and by your majesty have been reprieved.
“ They humbly pray your majesty to be pleased, that the said reprieve may be taken off, and the priests executed according to the law!!"23
Another priest of the name of Goodman, being condemned to be hanged, for the same heinous offence of worshipping God as his ancestors had done for centuries, the king was desirous of pardoning him, but was urged by parliament to let the law take its bloody course. A conference between committees of the two houses took place on this mighty subject, on the 26th of January, 1640, of which the following was the result. “Mr. Glyn gives an account of the free conference about Goodman, that their lordships had considered of the motives and desires of the commons, and do agree with them in every particular both for the execution of this particular priest, and the putting the laws in due execution against all other priests and Jesuits."
'The king was reluctantly obliged to succumb, and gratify their ravenous thirst of popish blood, and moreover to make a sort of apology for his humanity. “ Concerning John Goodman the priest, I will let
you know the reason why I reprieved him, and it is, that, (as I am informed,) neither queen Elizabeth nor my father did ever avow, 21 Strafford, I. 141.
22 Parl. Hist. vol. x. 95. 23 Rushworth, IV. 565.*
24 Rushworth, IV. 158. • Let it be observed that page 565 occurs twice in Rushworth, Vol. IV.and that the above extract is from the second of the two pages.
and once mighty empire of Hindostan prostrate at the feet of a small body of merchants in Leadenhall street. The unfortunate natives of Ireland, as well the descendants of the Strongbows, the Butlers, the Courcys, the Fitzstephenses, the Fitzgeralds, the Raymonds, and the Lacys, as the aboriginals of the country, were, under the most absurd pretexts, almost constantly goaded into insurrection : every spark of discord between rival chieftains was fanned into a flame, to afford the government a pretext for interfering between them,-crushing both, sacrificing their lives, and enriching the governors with their lordly possessions; and when, thus goaded, they recurred to arms, in defence of themselves, their wives, their children, and their estates, they were pursued with the most ruthless and remorseless cruelty.
To the usual sources of historical error, Ireland added various causes peculiar to that country. Confiscations succeeded each other there for centuries in rapid succession—and the titles of the possessors of estates, depended in a great degree upon destroying the characters of those who had been dispossessed. There never was an age, in which perjury was not a merchantable commodity; for perjuries are the growth of every age and climate; and, where millions of acres depended on hard swearing, those whose fortunes were to be secured by perjury, found no difficulty in procuring testimony for the purpose. Wretches are to be had in most of the capitals of Europe, who would for a dollar swear away the character or life of the most innocent man on earth. On this subject, Oates's plot, and half a dozen others which disgraced the close of the seventeenth century, shed a flood of light.
When I say " millions of acres,” I do not speak hyperbolically. The estates of the earl of Desmond, were nearly 600,000 acresthose of Tyrone and Tyrconnel about 500,000—the confiscations after the subjugation of Ireland by Cromwell were above 6,000,000 of acres -and those after the final defeat of king James's adherents, probably 1,500,000.
The facility of procuring perjured witnesses in those days, and the slight scruples of conscience that were felt about employing them, will be sufficiently established by one curious and disgraceful fact. Sir William Petty, having a law suit pending with the Duke of Ormond,“ bragged that he had got witnesses who would have sworn through a three inch board to evict the duke."25 I now proceed to make the application of the reflexions contained
0000ocos that any priest in their times was executed merely for religion, which to me seems to be this particular; yet seeing I am pressed by both houses to give way to his execution, because I will avoid the inconveniency of giving so great a discontent to my people, as I conceive this mercy may produce ; therefore I do remit this particular cause to both the houses.'
April, 1642. " That such popish priests as are already condemned, may be forthwith executed ; and such as shall hereafter be condemna ed, may likewise be executed according to law.9:27
25 Carte, II, 393. 26 Rushworth, IV. 166.
27 Parliamentary History, X. 406.
in the preceding pages specifically to the case of Ireland; and to detail à few of the incredible number of egregious and palpable inconsistencies and contradictions, which abound in writers generally regarded as unimpeachable authorities on Irish affairs, in order to shake the confidence of the reader in them, by proving how unworthy they are of the implicit credit they have enjoyed—to induce him to review the subject with due attention and to prepare him to regard with candour, and not to reject without the fullest reflexion and thorough conviction of their being erroneous, the statements and inductions which I shall present to his view, whatever extraordinary discrepancy may exist between them and the tenor of his past reading on the subject.
This preliminary measure is rendered imperiously necessary in order to satisfy those who favour this book with a perusal, that, in the discussion of the melancholy and distressing scenes it details, I have not undertaken a work of supererogation.
It is a just rule, of universal application, that when a witness has testified to a wilful falsehood, the competence of his testimony in future wholly fails. This rule applies equally to historians in all cases in which there is such an obvious and glaring perversion of fact, as cannot be fairly ascribed to human fallibility, but must have arisen from corrupt and sinister views. And, moreover, when a writer is detect.ed in egregious errors, particularly on vital points, even if those errors be wholly unintentional, and have proceeded merely from want of the requisite industry in investigating the subject, his authority is at least greatly impaired, if not wholly destroyed for the future, unless he is supported by other writers on whom dependence can be placed. His statements should at all events be received with nearly as much caution and suspicion as those of the writer who has wilfully sophisticated the current of history. This idea, however extraordinary it may appear at the first blush, stands on strong ground. The neglect, the carelessness, the want of proper industry in research, which have led us into error in one or two cases, may be fairly presumed to exist in others, and to produce the same effects again and again.
Should this hypothesis be admitted-and I trust it cannot be rejected--it would make dreadful havoc among the histories of Irish affairs, and consign to oblivion a large portion of those which at present are regarded as standing on a pre-eminent height.
Of the extreme difficulty attending a writer of Irish history, so far as regards the insurrection of 1641, Nalson, a protestant historian, the defender of Charles I. and panegyrist of Lord Strafford, had a correct view, when commencing his historical collections. He was well aware of the odium attached to the Irish Catholics-how popular any abuse of them, however gross, however false, would be, and how ili any vindication however just and true, would be received by the predominant party. “ I am very sensible,” says he," that in pursuing the historical account of the Irish rebellion, I shall have the management of a very difficult province; there being a sort of people, who think there can be no hyperboles in aggravating the blackness of the Irish rebellion, though at the same time they think every little reflexion too hard and sharp that touches upon the English rebellion. And if a writer cannot divest himself not only of the humanity of a just and generous heathen, but of the charity of a good Christian, he shall be pursued with the odious name of a favourer of popery."28
Here is a full and complete clue to the depravation and corruption of Irish history
Carte, Ware, Harris, L'Estrange and Baker vs. Temple, Clarendon, and Warner.
“Their priests, jesuits, and friars, “In the beginning of king James's without any manner of restraint, had reign, the penal laws were put into exequietly settled themselves in all the cution against recusants and indictchief towns, villages, noblemen's and ments exhibited against them for not private gentlemen's houses, through- coming to church.'31 out the kingdom : so as the private ex- 1605. “A proclamation published ercise of ALL THEIR RELIGIOUS BITES commanding the Popish clergy to deAND CEREMONIES was freely enjoyed by part the kingdom."132 them !! without any manner of disturb Anno 1617. A proclamation is. ance !!! and not any of the laws put in sued for banishing the Popish regular execution, whereby heavy penalties clergy:"33 were to be inflicted upon transgres
1822. “ Several Popish magistrates sors in that kind !!!"29
who had refused the oath of suprema. “ The whole nation enjoyed an undis. cy contrary to the statute of 2 Eliz. turbed exercise of their religion: and even chap. 1st, were censured in the Star in Dublin, where the seat of the king's Chamber, when bishop Usher made a
chief governor was, they went as publicly speech about the lawfulness of that and as uninterruptedly to their devotions oath.834 as he went to his. The bishops, priests, 1623. “ Issued out a proclamation and all degrees of secular and regular requiring the Popish clergy, regular clergy, were known to be, and exer. and secular, to depart the kingdom in cise their functions among them: and forty days and forbidding all converse though there were some laws against with them after that time."-35 them still in force which necessity and 1629. “ In this year, the Roman the wisdom of former ages had caused clergy began to rant it, and to exerto be enacted to suppress those acts of cise their fancies called religion, so treason and rebellion which the peo. publicly as if they had gained a toleraple frequently fell into, and the policy tion: for whilst the lords justices were of present times kept unrepealed, to at Christ's church in Dublin, on St. prevent the like distempers and de- Stephen's day, they were celebrating signs, yet the edge of those lawe was 80 mass in Cook street; which their lord. rotally rebated by the clemency and com- ships taking notice of, they sent the passion of the king, that no man could archbishop of Dublin, the mayor, sherif, say he had suffered prejudice or disturbo and recorder of the city, with a file of ance in or for his religion !!!”*30 musqueteers to apprehend them ;
“ The whole nation, generally speak- which they did, taking away the cruciing, enjoyed an undisturbed exercise of fixes and paraments of the altar!! the their religion ! Even in Dublin itself, soldiers hewing down the image of St. which is the seat of administration, the Francis !! the priests and friars were Roman Catholics went, though not as
delivered into the hands of the par. publicly, yet as uninterruptedly, to their suivants, at whom the people threw devotions as the chief governor did to stones and rescued them; the lords his! They had their titular arch- justices being informed of this, sent a bishops, bishops, vicars-general, pro. guard and delivered them, and clapped vincial synods, deans, abbots, friars, eight Popish aldermen by the heels, for and nuns, wbo all lived freely, though not assisting the mayor !! On this occa. somewhat covertly amongst them, and sion, fifteen houses, by direction of without restraint exercised their respec. the lords of the council in England,
28 Nalson, Vol. I. Introduction, p. vi. 29 Temple, 15. 30 Clarendon's Ireland, p. 8. 31 Carte, 1. 140. 32 Ware, Gesta Hib. 175. 33 Idem, 176.
3 Idem, 177. 35 Harris, 329.
tive jurisdictions. They had also their were seized to the king's use ; and the priests and jesuits who were of late priests and friars were so persecuted, years multiplied exceedingly from that two of them hanged themselves in Spain and Italy and other parts abroad; their own defence."'37 whither the children of the native “The lords justices sent the archIrish were usually sent for their edu. bishop, the mayor, sheriff, and recorcation. These priests and jesuits, with. der of the city, to apprehend them, out any restraint, had settled them which they did; TAKING AWAY" (that selves quietly in all the chief towns is piratically plundering] “ their cruciand villages, and in the noblemen's fices, chalices, and copes, and deliverand gentlemen's houses throughout ing the friars and priests into tho the kingdom. Thus, though it was hands of the pursuivants,"38 privately, yet the exercise of all their “ They earnestly entreated even a tem. Teügious rites und ceremonies was en- porary relaxation of the penal statutes of joyed freely, and without any control : Queen Elizabeth, declaring, that in this and though there were some laws case, if the king should ask two, three against them still in force, which the or four subsidies, they doubted not of wisdom and necessity of former ages a chearful and zealous compliance. had caused to be enacted, and which But these solicitations in parliament, the policy of the present times had and the practices of their agents in kept unrepealed, yet the edge of those England, produced no other effect laws was 80 totally rebated by the indul. than a general, cautious and moderato gence of the government, that not a sin- execution of these statates."39 gle man could say that he had suffered “The governor and council began any prejudice or disturbance for his re- by enjoining the magistrates and chief Egion !!!!!!!36
citizens of Dublin to repair to the established churches. Repeated admonitions and conferences served but to render them more obstinate. They were fined and committed to prison, when in an instant, all the old English families of the Pale took the alarm, and boldly remonstrated against the severity of these proceedings. They denied the legality of the sentencé by which these severities were inflicted, and urged, that by the act of the 2d of Elizabeth, the crime of recusancy had its punishment ascertained, and that any extension of the penalty was illegal and unconstitutional.”40
“ Magistrates and officers of justice were strictly required to take the oath of supremacy: and as the city of Water. ford had obstinately chosen a succession of recusants for their chief magistrates, who all in turn refused to take this oath, and in other particulars discovered an aversion to conformitys a commission issued, TO SEIZE THE LI. BERTIES AND REVENUES of a city which had formerly and frequently been obnoxious to the state."41
6. The administration of the new governor, (St. John,) was disturbed by various clamours and discontents. By his conduct in the late parliament
* Warner, 2.
37 Hammond l'Estrange.
38 Baker, 469.