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1701]

PROGRESS OF THE ANTI-IRISH POLICY

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modern states, did not count as part of the commonwealth. The colonists had all the land, all the places of honour and emolument, and practically unrestricted liberty to do with their helots whatever they pleased; yet they became dissatisfied with their mother country, because she insisted upon dictating to their Parliament. Though willing to be the gaolers, as Curran said, of their fellow-countrymen, they liked to believe themselves their masters. William Molyneux, the member for Dublin, in an ably written work, defended the independence of the Irish Parliament from any control of the English Parliament; he contended that the latter had no power to bind the former, nor the former any obligation to enact the Acts of the latter, unless it so pleased.

The struggles of political factions, and the reaction consequent on the plot against King William, led the triumphant party in the English Parliament to advance another step in the anti-Irish policy. By the Act II Will. III. c. 4, any Catholic bishop or priest convicted of saying mass, teaching or keeping a school, or exercising any other religious function, was guilty of pramunire and therefore liable to perpetual imprisonment. One hundred pounds reward was offered for the apprehension of persons guilty of such acts. Again, any person professing, or educated in, the Popish religion who had not, within six months after attaining the age of eighteen, taken the Oaths of Allegiance and Abjuration and made the Declaration against Transubstantiation, could not inherit real estate in England. Again, no Papist was to be allowed to purchase land; send his children to be educated abroad; or refuse a proper maintenance to any of his children who should become Protestant, otherwise the Court of Chancery might intervene. The passing of this Act and the Resumption Act proved that William had been at length obliged to capitulate to his Parliament, and yield up his principles of religious toleration.

PERIOD OF THE PENAL LAWS

On March 8, 1702, King William died. His rival, James, had died the previous year; and the son of the latter, known as the Pretender, was recognised by France as King of England. To all these events the Irish were profoundly indifferent. They had seen how William had been unable to fulfil his plighted word, or redeem his honour. With the exception of the Irish brigade in France, who might perchance obtain some advantage from a restoration of the Stuarts—though, had such an event occurred, it is more than probable they would have been as badly treated as the Irish had been at the restoration of Charles II.-no one expected any good to

ome from such an event. The succession of the House of Hanover promised them nothing. The Jacobite poetry of Scotland and the corresponding popular poetry of Ireland offer a curious contrast—the former is dynastic and personal, the latter rarely either; it is chiefly allegorical of Ireland, and intensely national. Whenever it is dynastic or personal, it is probably of Anglo-Irish or Protestant-Jacobite origin. This shows, I think, that the Irish people cared nothing

for the Stuarts; rather it is certain that they despised X James II., and knew nothing of his son and grandson, and

might have been easily reconciled with the English after Limerick if they had been justly treated.

There was much discontent among the colonists at the accession of Anne, as is shown by much of the pamphlet literature at the time. To calm the agitation and divert the attention of the dissatisfied colonists from the relation of the two kingdoms to one another to the “common enemy," a Bill to prevent the further growth of Popery, 1703]

POLICY OF ORMOND

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similar to the one in operation in England, was recommended by the English Government to the Irish Council. Rochester, who was opposed to the war, retired from the government of Ireland, and was succeeded by Ormond,whose rank and great prestige were expected to calm opposition. His name was ominous of evil to Ireland; and he did not belie the reputation of his family, for his mission was to complete and carry into effect the utter ruin and degradation of the Irish.

The work of the session was carefully considered by the Council, much of it being intended to arrest the development of the germs of nationalism among the colonists. The first measure proposed was for the extension of the Act 9 Will. III. c. I (1697), for banishing priests and preventing them from coming from abroad. This Act did not include secular priests, who were to be allowed to officiate and die out from want of successors, all bishops being excluded. Experience showed, however, according to Ormond, that secular priests, being educated among the queen's enemies, imbibed their sentiments, and so at their return “did become incendiaries to rebellion;" hence it was necessary to prevent their return. The first clause enacted that every ecclesiastic coming into the kingdom was liable to the penalties of 9 Will. III. c. 1; thus including secular as well as regular priests, as also persons harbouring, relieving, or concealing ecclesiastics. The duration of this Act was in the first instance limited to a period of fourteen years, but its provisions were subsequently made perpetual. a pendent to the Act for preventing Popish priests from coming into the kingdom, a Bill was prepared for registering the Popish clergy. By this Bill all secular priests in Ireland were required to go before a magistrate, register their names, and take out a licence. The register was to include abode, age, parish, time and place of receiving orders, and the name of the prelate from whom the orders were received. The priest registering was required to give two sureties to be of good behaviour, and not to remove to another part of the kingdom. The penalty was committal 18 Anne, c. 3.

2 Anne, c. 7.

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to gaol pending transportation, and the offender was liable to the same penalties as bishops and Popish regulars. Similar penalties were imposed in case of return. The Bill also provided an annual stipend of £20 (afterwards increased to £30) for converted priests, to be levied off the county in the manner of grand jury cess. Parish priests were not allowed to keep a curate or assistant. In order to ensure the enforcement of the Act, it was to be given in charge at every assizes, and the list publicly read.

But the chief measure of the session was the Act to prevent the growth of Popery. The suggestion of the measure and its principle were the work of the English Council. In the preamble, as it was laid before the House of Commons on November 19, 1703, one of the causes put forward as justifying the necessity for fresh legislation was the leniency and moderation which had hitherto been shown in carrying out the repressive laws; another was that emissaries of the Church of Rome were perverting Protestants from their religion. Accordingly, following the precedent of the English Act, seducing a Protestant from his faith was made a new crime, both in the seducer and the seduced. The Foreign Education Act was extended and made more stringent. Catholic parents were compelled to make competent provision for the maintenance of their Protestant children; and, in order that the land should pass away wholly from Catholics, no land which had been at any time in, or should hereafter come into, the possession of a Protestant was allowed to come into the possession of a Papist. The committee proposed that a Catholic should not be in a position to recover such land under any circumstances, though they proposed to leave Catholics free to inherit from one another. In the case, however, of a Catholic having real or personal property, and all his children being Catholic, the estate was to be gavelled--that is, divided among the children, share and share alike; but should the eldest son conform within twelve months after the death of his father, or, if under age, twelve months after coming of age, he might take the estate as heir-at-law. The committee also recommended 1703] ACT TO PREVENT THE GROWTH OP POPERY 33 that the dispensing power given to the Lord-Lieutenant in the disarming Act should be withdrawn. The Articles of Galway and Limerick, which entitled Catholics to hold and acquire property in those towns, and abide therein, were wholly altered. All Catholics then living in the towns named might continue to reside there on giving security for their good behaviour; but for the future no Catholic should acquire property in Limerick or Galway, or reside there. There was also a clause disabling Catholics from voting at elections.

These were the substantial provisions of the Bill as it was transmitted to England. In the form in which it came back, some changes were made; but, except in two ways, the chief features of the Bill were unaltered. The changes so far were not favourable to the Catholics, while they put the Protestant Dissenters in a worse position than before. The preamble was altered so as not to imply any leniency on the part of the administration in the past. The penalties of the Foreign Education Act were extended to all Catholics who sent their children abroad without a licence. The change affecting Dissenters only was twofold: first, that only Protestants belonging to the Established Church could claim a benefit under the Act, so that if an estate should lapse to a Presbyterian, as next of kin, he could not enjoy it, and it would pass to the next heir, no matter how remote, who happened to be a member of the Established Church; and, secondly, the Test Act was imported into the Bill. It followed that no Dissenter could hold any office or place under the Crown above the rank of a constable, unless he took the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the rite of the Established Church, Thus at one blow the Independents, Presbyterians, Huguenots, Quakers, and other Dissenters were excluded from the army, the militia, the civil service, the municipal corporations, and the magistracy; there being no Toleration Act in Ireland, the Dissenters were thus reduced very nearly to the level of the Papists.

Before the Bill passed in the Irish Parliament, the Catholics prayed to be heard by counsel in opposition to it.

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