« ForrigeFortsæt »
Villiers, Rt. IIon. C.
West, H. W.
Williams, A. J.
Stansfeld, Rt. Hon. J. Williamson, S.
Wilson, C. H.
Wilson, H. J.
Wilson, Sir M.
Woodale, W. De Rothschild, Baron | Vanderbyl, P.
In addition to the foregoing I believe that the following also said nothing in their addresses about Ireland; and I know there were others who were very chary of mentioning the question either in addresses or speeches. One gentleman, indeed, carried his abstinence so far that he does not remember now whether he referred to Ireland or not. Arch, J.
Jenkins, Sir J. Atherley-Jones, L.
Durant, J. C.
Swinburne, Sir J. Balfour, Sir G.
Vivian, Sir H. Craven, J.
Jacoby, J. A. Dillwyn, L.
James, C. H.
THREE ATTEMPTS TO RULE IRELAND
SINCE the subjugation of Ireland by William the Third, three honest and earnest attempts have been made to govern the country on principles of justice, to repair the wrongs of conquest, to obliterate the memory of defeat. The first attempt was made by William himself on the surrender of Limerick; the second by Lord Melbourne in 1835; the third by Mr. Gladstone in 1868. The history of these attempts deserves to be recorded.
I. WILLIAM THE THIRD. Lord Bacon said that three things were necessary for the reduction and pacification of Ireland—(1) the extinguishing of the relics of war;' (2) 'the recovery of the hearts of the people;' (3) 'the removing of the root and occasions of new troubles. The views of Lord Bacon were the views of William the Third. The humane and sagacious Dutch warrior and statesman believed that, the work of conquest done, the work of reparation should commence; that the loss of national independence should be counterbalanced by the full enjoyment of all the rights and privileges of a common citizenship. Political incorporation, not national extirpation, was the basis of the Irish policy of William the Third. The principles of this policy were embodied in the Treaty of Limerick, by which the Irish people were granted freedom of worship, allowed the use of arms, the possession of their estates, the right to sit in Parliament, to vote at elections, to practise law and medicine, to engage in trade and commerce. The upshot of the whole struggle,' as Professor Ranke has well expressed it, was this: the Irish and Catholics must renounce all thought of acquiring independence, for which they had taken up arms; on the other hand, Protestantism could not have that exclusive mastery wbich many desired. In other words, it was the wish of William that the popular liberty should survive national overthrow.
| Mr. Gladstone received the seals of office in December 1868. He introduced and carried the Irish Church Bill in 1869.
But the peace of Limerick was hateful to the English colonists, who resolved to destroy or reduce to a condition of abject serfdom the whole of the native population. And the conflict, which has endured for two hundred years, between the party of coercion and the party of conciliation-between those who wished that · Protestantism should have the exclusive mastery' and those who believed that Catholic freedom should be upheld—began as soon as the last Irish soldier had sailed with Sarsfield for France.
A few weeks after the solemn compact signed on the banks of the Shannon, Dr. Dopping, the Bishop of Meath, sounded the keynote of intolerance, injustice, and bad faith. He declared from the pulpit, in the presence of the Lords Justices, that the Treaty of Limerick should not be kept ; that no privileges, no rights, should be extended to the native race; tbat Irish papists should not be trusted nor recognised. But Dr. Moreton, the Bishop of Kildare, mindful of the honour of his sovereign, and influenced by sentiments of justice and morality, repudiated the doctrines preached by his brother of Meath, protesting that the public faith pledged at Limerick should not be violated ; that Catholics should be permitted to remain within the pale of the Constitution, and to enjoy the full rights of fellow-subjects and fellow-countrymen.
Both sermons were sent to William, who acted with characteristic vigour and conscientiousness. He removed Dopping from the Privy Council, and put Moreton in his place.
Four months later the King was again called on to prevent a gross and shameless infraction of the Treaty. The second article, as originally drawn, had provided that the inhabitants of Limerick or any other garrison now in possession of the Irish, and all officers and soldiers now in arms under any commission from King James in the counties of Limerick, Cork, Kerry, Clare, and Mayo, and all such as were under their protection in the said counties, shall hold, possess, and enjoy all and every their estates of freehold and inheritance, and all the rights, titles, interests, privi. leges, and immunities which they and every or any of them were entitled to in the reign of Cbarles the Second, or at any time since, by the laws and statutes that were in force in the said reign of Charles the Second. The words in italics were regarded as of great importance, both by the Irish and the colonists, as embracing practically the whole native population, whose landed estates were thus carefully secured to the rightful owners. These words were, in truth, a barrier cautiously set up against any attempt at wbolesale confiscation, and this barrier
? So long,' says Mr. Froude in The English in Ireland, as the second of these [Limerick] articles contained the contested words, printed in italics, it conceded nearly all for which Sarsfield had asked. Very many of the Catholic gentry, being in the army, were protected as commissioned officers. The estates of most of those who were absent, and yet were compromised in the insurrection, were in the counties thus carefully particularised; and thus it might be said that nearly every Catholic of consequence, with a disposition to be dangerous, would be covered by the broad vagueness of the word “protection”!'.
the colonists, bent on a policy of public plunder,' were resolved to throw down. The draft of the Treaty had been signed outside the city walls on the 3rd of October, 1691. On the 4th of October the English army entered the upper part of the town ; on the same day the draft was engrossed, and from the engrossment the words in italics were omitted. The attention of Sarsfield, who still held the lower part of the town with the whole Irish army, was called to the fact. He pointed out the omission to Ginkel, and requested that it should be made good. After some discussion, and after the French fleet had anchored in the Shannon, Ginkel promised that the wishes of the Irish commander should be complied with, and that the omitted words should be restored. Nevertheless, four months afterwards the engrossed Treaty was placed before William with the italicised words still left ont. A discussion, we are informed, arose in the Privy Council as to whether they should be reinserted or not. But William, cutting short all debate, declared that the promise made to Sarsfield should be kept, and wrote on the instrument ratifying the Treaty
Whereas it appears unto us that it was agreed between the parties in the said articles that, after the words Limerick, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Mayo, Sligo, or any of them, in the second of the said articles, the words following—viz. And all such as are under their protection in the said counties' should be inserted and be part of the said articles. Which words having been casually omitted by the writer, the omission was not discovered till after the said articles were signed, but was taken notice of before the seconds town was surrendered ; and that our said justices and generals, or one of them, did promise that the said clause should be made good, it being within the intention of the capitulations, and inserted in the foul draft thereof. Our further will and pleasure is, and we do hereby ratify and confirm the said omitted words-viz.' And all such as are under their protection in the said counties '-hereby for us, our heirs, or successors, ordaining and declaring that all and every person or persons therein concerned shall and may hare, receive, and enjoy the benefit thereby in such and the same manner as if the said words had been inserted in their proper place in the said second article, any omission, defect, or mistake in the said second article in any wise notwithstanding.
The honourable action of the King in thus confrming one of the most important clauses in the Treaty of Limerick raised a storm of dissatisfaction among the English in Ireland. The Irish papists, they said, would be restored to their estates, and the English and Protestant interest would be destroyed. “Where the land goes,' wrote the Lords Justices, 'there goes the interest of a kingdom; and, no doubt of it, it must be a great mistake in policy, wben there is so justifiable a pretence, to lose the opportunity of changing the proprietors from papists to Protestants, as this will be. The Protestants of Ireland,' added their lordships, ' will be in perfect despair if the papists are restored.' But it was the intention of the Treaty of Limerick that the papists' should be restored'; and William refused
Limerick was divided into two towns—the upper, or ‘Irish town,' the lower, or English.
to be a party to the frustration of that intention. Nevertheless, in the conflict which ensued between the King and the colonists the latter were finally successful—not, however, without a strenuous effort on the part of William to maintain what he believed to be the right. His first Lord Lieutenant-Lord Sydney--sought to observe the Treaty, and was, in consequence, assailed by the colonists and driven from the island. Of Sydney's successors—the Lords Justices Wyche, Duncombe, and Capel—the two former were desirous of treating the native race with justice; the latter was not. Once more the colonists attacked the men who were hostile to their aims, and once more the party of honour was defeated. Wyche and Duncombe were forced to retire, and Capel remained sole governor of Ireland.
Under the rule of this congenial viceroy, the colonial Parliament proceeded to tear the Treaty of Limerick into shreds. In an Act purporting to confirm the Treaty almost all the articles were one after another abrogated. Even the words which William had with so much care caused to be reinserted and had ratified under the Great Seal of England were deliberately struck out. Thus was the barrier against confiscation completely thrown down.
This violation of the Treaty of Limerick by the very Act of Parliament purporting to confirm it was accompanied by laws disarming popish citizens—they had already been expelled from Parliament, banishing popish bishops, restraining popish education, disqualifying popish lawyers, and forbidding any papist to keep a horse above the value of 5l. In brief, four years after the Treaty of Limerick bad been signed the national religion was proscribed, the native race degraded, and the foundation laid of that infamous structure of laws which was securely raised shortly after William had passed away.
So terminated the struggle between the English monarch and the English colonists in Ireland; so ended the efforts of the magnanimous Dutch prince to govern with justice the people whom he had conquered. A body of men, whose sole aim was plunder, succeeded in defeating the statesmanlike policy of one of the wisest and the best sovereigns that has ever sat on the throne of these realms.
After William's death, the colonists had it all their own way, and the result was the Penal Code, in the fulness of its atrocity. The story of that code is an old one, and need not be retold. For practical purposes, its nature may be sufficiently gathered from the words of Grattan. “The peace after Limerick,' said the great orator, ‘was to the Catholics a sad servitude, to the Protestants a drunken triumph.' Its effect upon the landed interests of the native race may be stated in the words used by Lord Townshend in 1772. “The laws against Popery,' he said, ' have so far operated, that there is no papist family remaining at this day of any great weight from landed property.'
• Ante, p. 621.