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to the visit of Queen Victoria in 1849. On both those occasions the sovereign was received with the greatest warmth, as was King Edward VII. in 1904. Why was one of the most obvious services a monarchy can render so long and so strangely neglected ?
The want of a capacity for self-government, which is so often charged upon the Irish, does not need to be explained by an inherent defect in Celtic peoples when it is remembered that no opportunity of acquiring it was afforded them. Since the primitive clan organisation of the native race was dissolved in the sixteenth century, neither local nor national popular self-government had ever existed in Ireland, until the establishment in our own time of representative municipal institutions in the larger towns, followed, after a long interval, by the County and District Councils of 1898. There were practically no free elections of members of the House of Commons till the famous Waterford contest of 1826, and even after that year an election was almost always a struggle between temporal intimidation by landlords and spiritual intimidation by priests. The Ballot Act of 1872 is the true beginning of Parliamentary life in the Irish counties, and seems to mark a turning-point in Irish history,
That Irish political leaders have sometimes wanted a sense of responsibility, have been often violent in their language, agitators and rhetoricians rather than statesmen, is undeniable, and must be borne in mind when England is blamed for refusing to follow their advice. But vehemence and recklessness were natural to men who had no responsibility, whom no one dreamt of placing in administrative posts, who found their counsels steadily ignored. They, like the people from whom they sprung, had no training in self-government, no enlightened class in sympathy with them, and able to correct by its more sober opinion their extravagances. Agitation was the only resource of those who shrank from conspiracy or despaired of insurrection; and the habit of agitation produced a type of character, as Cervantes says that every man is the son of his own works. Leadership had, with some honourable exceptions, become divorced from education and property, because the class which gave leaders to the nation in the thirty years before the Union had now been thoroughly denationalised. Where popular leaders are chargeable with any particular set of faults, those faults are almost invariably the result of the refusal of the educated and propertied class to recognise the needs and associate themselves with the aspirations of the people.
The reflection may occur that if these unhappy features in the character of English rule and the temper of the Irish people during the last three centuries were the result of causes acting steadily during a long period of time, a correspondingly long period of better relations will be needed to efface them. History, however, if she does not absolutely forbid, certainly does not countenance such a prediction. It has sometimes happened that when malignant conditions have vanished, and men's feeling undergone a thorough change, a single generation has been sufficient to wipe out ancient animosities, and capacities for industrial or intellectual or political development have been disclosed which no one ventured to expect. Necessity and responsibility are the best teachers. Even the dreary annals of Ireland show some progress from century to century. Since 1885 that progress has been rapid, and it still continues. In a time like ours, changes of every kind move faster than they did in days of darkness and isolation; and, though there are moments when clouds seem to settle down over Ireland or over Europe as a whole, yet if we compare the condition of the world now with that of a century ago, we find ample grounds for a faith in the increasing strength of the forces which make for righteousness and peace.
TWO CENTURIES OF
FROM THE TREATY OF LIMERICK TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF LEGISLATIVE
By Dr. SULLIVAN
THE TREATY OF LIMERICK; THE LAST CONFISCATION;
AND THE FIRST PARLIAMENT
On October 3, 1691, the Treaty of Limerick, closing the last struggle for Irish independence, was signed.
James II., driven from England, took his stand in Ireland, where the Irish rallied round him, not from any attachment to his dynasty or person, but because his position gave them a rallying-point to fight for national freedom. The details of the war are familiar history, yet it will be useful to briefly summarise the more salient facts.
On the accession of James II. he appointed the Earl of Clarendon viceroy of Ireland, and Richard Talbot, afterwards Duke of Tyrconnel, commander-in-chief of the army. When leaving for Ireland, James told Clarendon that he would maintain the Acts of Settlement and Explanation; and that, although the Catholics should have the freedom of
their religion and equality of privileges, he would let them see too that he looked upon them as a conquered people, and that he would support the Settlement in violably. In this spirit Clarendon acted, and did everything he could to evade redressing the grievances of the Irish, by appointing them officers, magistrates, and so forth. Tyrconnel, on the other hand, disbanded the colonial militia, a well-armed body, and attempted to disarm them also. The march of events in England, the hostility of the English interest, and the uprise of an Irish public opinion, soon put an end to this dull government. Clarendon was recalled, and Tyrconnel took his place as viceroy.
While Tyrconnel was organising an Irish army, James being still king in England, he committed a great blunder, which had far-reaching consequences, contributing in no small degree to the overthrow of the Stuart dynasty. He withdrew the garrison of Derry in order to send aid to King James in England. The removal of the garrison left the field clear for the partisans of William. When the Earl of Antrim was sent to repair the blunder, the young men of Derry resolutely closed the gates of the town against James's troops on December 7, 1688, and on February 20, 1689, William of Orange was proclaimed king in Derry. In this way the English got possession of one of the most important ports in the kingdom.
On March 12, 1689, James II. landed at Kinsale. Thence he hastened to Dublin, and summoned a Parliament, which met on May 7, 1689, and sat until July 18. This Parliament of James has been described as a Parliament of Irish Celts, yet out of the 228 members of the House of Commons about one-fourth only belonged to the native race, and even including members of families Anglicised or of doubtful origin, not one-third of the House of Commons belonged to the so-called Celts. Of the thirty-two lay peers who attended, not more than two or three bore old Irish names. The four spiritual peers were Protestant bishops, among whom was the notorious Dr. Dopping; no Catholic bishops were summoned. Thirty-five Acts were passed, many of which were merely for the undoing of previous hostile
3 legislation, such as the repeal of Poynings' Act, the repeal of the Acts of Settlement and Explanation, the repeal of the Act for keeping and celebrating October 23 as an anniversary thanksgiving in Ireland. Of the positive Acts the most notable were: an Act to secure liberty of conscience, and to repeal such Acts, or clauses of Acts, as were inconsistent with the same; and an Act for removing all incapacities from the natives of Ireland. James did not approve of the legislation of his Irish Parliament, and, but for the presence of the Comte d'Avaux, the French ambassador, it is probable he would not have consented to the repeal of the Acts of Settlement and Explanation.
Sufficient men had presented themselves to form fifty regiments of infantry and a proportionate number of cavalry. But as the native Irish had been excluded from serving in the army and militia, and as far as possible disarmed, these levies were undisciplined, and their officers, with few exceptions, were without military training and experience. There were no arsenals, and in the Government stores only about one thousand serviceable firearms were found; there was no artillery, and no supply of ammunition, or of appliances for an army in the field. The colonists, who for the most part took the English side, were accustomed to the use of arms, having served in the disbanded militia, which had been well armed. They possessed a considerable force sufficiently trained and armed to do garrison duty efficiently. The great want of the Irish in this, as in all previous Anglo-Irish wars, was money. What coin was in circulation was small in quantity and debased in quality. James's Government issued a brass coinage, which had no currency outside the kingdom, and even within it practically circulated only among the partisans of James, and could not consequently help in purchasing arms, ammunition, and military stores, which had to be imported from without.
Under such unfavourable circumstances, the war began. The first campaign comprised the siege, or rather blockade, of Derry—for the Irish, having no artillery, could not under
* That is, chiefly the Protestants of English or Scottish origin.