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Reign of William and Alary. TIE progress of the reformation at the comT
mencement of this reign was more rapidly extending among the higher orders of the Irish than it had formerly. And the English who were now domiciliated in Ireland, were from plantations, forfeitures, and other causes, surprisingly multiplied. These two descriptions of persons now began to consider themselves as an independent Irish interest; and although the revolution did not let in the Irish nation immediately to those civil rights and liberties which it imparted or secured to England, yet it kindled in those who approved of it a spirit of freedom, which disposed them to insist upon the constitutional rights of Irishmen.
Lord Sydney, having been created lord lieutenant, immediately summoned a parliament; the primary object of which was to raise supplies to discharge the debts contracted during the war. There had been no parliament in Ireland, except that which sat under James, for the last twentysix years; and although the parliament of England had legislated for Ireland on the most important matters of state, and had excluded the Roman catholics from a seat in either house of the Irish parliament, yet had it not proceeded to the extent of raising money directly upon the people of Ireland.
This parliament, considering the assumption of the parliament of England as an encroachment upon their rights, rejected one of two money bills which had not originated with them, but had been 2 F 2
sent from England, and only consented to pass the other from the extreme urgency of the case. This conduct was deemed by Sydney to be seditious, and he prorogued the parliament with a severe reprimand. The commons requested permission to send conimissioners to England to lay a full ané impartial statement of their grievances before their majesties; when they were tauntingly assured by the lord lieutenant that they might go to Englan: to beg pardon of their majesties for their seditious and riotous asseml lies. This ungracious conduct reddered Sydney unpopular, and it was thought prudent to recall him.
Upon the removal of lord Sydney, the government was vested in three justices, lord Capel, si Cecil Wyche, and Mr. Duncombe ; who differing in their sentiments, the power of the whole wa concentred in lord Capel.
The remainder of this reign was passed without any event worthy of particular record. The difference of religious sentiments continued ushappily to spread the seeds of disunion betweens large proportion of the people of Ireland and their sovereigns; and the want of a cordial an! sincere co-operation of the parliaments of England and Ireland tended in a very great degree to retard the progress of those blessings, which in the sister kingdom the revolution had bestowed upci more fortunate England.
The unexpected death of the duke of Gloucester, the son of the princess Ann, in his seventeenth year, and the death of the late king James about the same time, gave rise to the art A. D.
by which the crown was settled on th:
house of Hanover, which was the last a: 1701. passed in this reign.
Reign of Queen Anne.
the meridian heat of whiggism and toryism nothing was done in moderation, and few of the transactions of that day have reached us in a form unwarped by the prejudices of the narrators.
Through every part of the British empire, except Ireland, the constitutional rights of the subject ebbed and flowed with the alternate prevalence of these opposite parties.
The Irish nation was doomed to suffer under every Stuart; and the ingratitude of this monarch to them may have contributed not slightly to prevent them from relapsing into their former attachment, when other parts of the British empire rose in rebellion in their siirport. It is worthy of peculiar remark, as showing the folly of coupling the cause of popery with that of the pretender, that in the only part of the British empire, which generally submitted to the spiritual power of the pope, namely Ireland, an arin has not been raised in aid of the Stuarts since the accession of the house of Hanover to the British throne,
Anne was alternately led down the stream either by whigs or tories, as their respective parties gained the ascendancy in parliament: the whole political system of her reign was a state of contest, in which the party in power opposed and thwarted their antagonists by measures of extreme violence. This nearly equal contest of the rival parties in England kept not the same equilibrium in Ire2 F 3
land. The queen, who held her crown against the claims of her brother by the tenure of protesto antism, found herself forced to bury the attachments of natural affection under her zeal for the church, and became forward, in yielding to the cries of both parties, in laying the severest restrictions upon her catholic subjects of Ireland. No crimes, no new offences were laid to their charge, and yet a new code of unparalleled rigour was imposed on this suffering people.
No period of the Irish history more strongly illustrates the advantages of an incorporate union between Great Britain and Ireland, than the reign of queen Anne: it verifies to the letter the trite observation, that if no other benefit were to arise out of it than the destruction of the Irish parliament and the Irish monopoly of power, it will be the greatest national blessing bestowed upon Ireland since the invasion. For it is now ascertained that the penal laws passed against the catholics during her reign, were passed against the wishes and efforts of the British cabinet by the procurement of the head of the Irish aristocracy, and the unanimous vote of an Irish parliament.
During the whole of the reign of queen Anne, the penal laws were executed with unabating severity upon the Irish catholics, without other visible cause than their mere profession of the Roman catholic religion. There is a principle of liberality and wisdom in concentrating the interests of a great people in a common focus, which has prve duced the late happy union, which is the loudesti condemnation of the false policy that pervadled the Irish government in the reign of queen Anne. It was during the same reign that the parliament of England directed the sale of the estates of Iri-h
rebels, and disqualified the catholics from purchasing them; avoided leases made to papists, augmented small vicarages, and confirmed grants made to the archbishop of Dublin: the same parliament also permitted Ireland to export linen, (which by this time had become a most important branch of their commerce) to the colonies; prohibited the importation of that commodity from Scotland; and appointed the town of New Ross in the county of Wexford, as the port for exporting wool from Ireland to England.
Little else occurred during this reign, with respect to Ireland, which is worthy of record. The queen died on the 1st of August 1714, and was succeeded by George I., who was proclaimed and acknowledged king of Great Britain and Ireland without opposition.
The parliament of Ireland convened in November 1715 was prominently conspicuous in manifesting their zeal for the Hanover succession, and the whig administration; which, upon the death of Anne, obtained the whole management of public affairs, to the exclusion of the whole tory party. This parliament passed acts for recognising the king's title, for the security of his person and government, for setting a price of 50,0001. upon the head of the pretender, and for attainting the duke of Ormond, who had taken up arms in his cause. The court of Spain having resolved to fit
A. D. out an expedition in favour of the pretender,
1715. this period was fixed upon as the moment for putting it into execution. An armament of twelve ships of the line and several transports was equipped, having on board six thousand regular troops, and arms for twelve thousand men. The command of the fleet was given to the duke of Or