Front Page Titles (by Subject) [CHAPTER VI]: Of the Government of Ireland. - The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, vol. 1
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[CHAPTER VI]: Of the Government of Ireland. - Sir William Petty, The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, vol. 1 
The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, together with The Observations upon Bills of Mortality, more probably by Captain John Graunt, ed. Charles Henry Hull (Cambridge University Press, 1899), 2 vols.
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Of the Government ofIreland.
THE Government of Ireland is by the King, 21 Bishops (whereof four are Arch-Bishops) and the Temporal Peers2 ; whereof some part,———by reason of the late Rebellion, do not sit in Parliament.
By about 3000 Freeholders, and the Members of about 100 Corporations, the University at Dublin reckoned for one, represented in the House of Commons, by about 270 Knights, Citizens and Burgesses.
The Parliament so constituted, have a Negative upon any Law that the Lord Lieutenant and Councel shall offer to the King, and which the King and his Councel in England shall under the Great Seal remit to the said Parliament.
The Sheriffs of Counties, and of Cities and Counties in Ireland are 40, finally appointed by the Lord Lieutenant, each of which hath about Ten Bailiffs.
The Chief Governour, called sometimes Lord-Lieutenant, sometimes Lord-Deputy, sometimes Lords Justices, with a Council, at this time consisting of about 50 Members, ‖ do govern in all Matters belonging to the Peace, Prerogative, &c.
There be five Courts, viz. a Chancery, consisting of a Lord-Chancellor, Master of the Rolls, and two, three or four Sallariated Masters of Chancery. The King's-Bench, of a Lord-Chief-Justice, and two other Judges. The Common-Pleas of the like: The Exchequer, of a Lord-Chief-Baron, and two other Barons, with the Treasurer and Chancellor of the Exchequer: And a Prerogative, whereof the Primate of Armagh is Judge.
There is also a Palatinate-Court in Tipperary, whereof the Duke of Ormond is Lord of the Liberties and Regalities to it belonging. There is also a Court of Admiralty: Every Bishop hath also two Courts. And there have been formerly and lately (but now An. 1672. suspended) a Presidency of Munster1 , and another of Connaght, who meddle not with Life or Limb, nor Titles of Land2 .
There is also a Court-Marshal, for the Affairs of the Army, who in times of peace often transmit accus'd persons to the Civil-power.
To all these Courts do belong——Officers,———Councellors of Law, whereof I reckon——are ‖ of the first Classis, gaining by Estimation about 6001. per Ann. each——of the 2d. gaining about 3001. per Ann. And——of the 3d gaining not above 1001. per Ann. There are also——sworn Attornies, gaining about 1201. per Ann. one with another.
There are in Ireland about 950 Justices of the Peace, appointed by the Lord-Chancellor; an Head-Constable for each Barony or Hundred, being 252; and a Petty Constable for each Parish; whereof are about 2278.
The Ecclesiastical Government is by Arch-Bishops, Bishops, Arch-Deacons, Deans1 of Cathedral-Churches, in all which there are now actually but one Quire entire, and that in Dublin, serving both at Christ-Church, and St. Patrick's. And the Parsons, Vicars and Curates for the Protestant-Religion, are in all Ireland at this day near 500, and about half the Tythes are Impropriate, and belonging to Lay-men.
This is the State of the External and Apparent Government of Ireland, so far as it concerns the Number and Species of Persons managing the same. But the Internal and Mystical Government of Ireland is thus, viz. ‖
1. There are always about Twenty2 Gentlemen of the Irish Nation and Popish-Religion, who by reason of their Families, good Parts, Courtly Education and Carriage, are supported by the Irish to negotiate their Concernments at the Court of England, and of the Vice-Roy in Ireland.
These men raise their Contributions by the Priests (who actually and immediately govern the People.) The Priests are govern'd by at least 24 Romish Bishops, all of whom have a long time been conversant in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, England, where as Chaplains and Almoners, &c. they have made an interest with the governing Men and Ministers of State in those several Kingdoms, and have obtained some Benefits and Preferments from them.
So as the Body of the Irish-Papists (being about 800 M. whereof near 700 M. do live in wretched Cabbins, without Chimney or Window) are govern'd by about 1000 Secular Priests, and 2500 Friars and Regulars3 of several Orders; whereof most are Franciscans, next Dominicans and Augustins, but few Capuchins and fesuits or Carthusians. These, I say, are govern'd by their respective Bishops and Superiors, whom the Ministers ‖ of Foreign States do also govern and direct.
So as upon the whole matter, the Irish, who are the Bulk of the Nation, are govern'd indirectly by Foreign Power; and so are the aforenamed Lay-Patriots4 , their support coming from the Clergy constituted as aforesaid, and who do notoriously exercise their Spiritual Jurisdiction in Ireland: And do also exert a Temporal Power, by prevailing with Papist Justices of the Peace, to send such to Gaol as are disobedient to the Clergy, upon feigned or frivolous Complaints, which they cause to be brought against them.
The Judges aforenamed, all but the Chancellor, go Circuits, whereof there are five twice every year, excepting only the one County of Kerry.
There is an University at Dublin, but lying for the most part within one College, wherein are a Provost and seven Senior and Ruling Fellows; Nine Junior Fellows; sixty Scholars; and at this time——Commoners1 and other Students.
There was about the year 1669 erected a College of Physicians, consisting of a President, and 13 Fellows2 . ‖
There are belonging to the Prerogative, Arch-Deacons Courts, Court-Martial and Admiralty-Courts, not above 10 Advocates, and 30 Proctors.
There are in the City of Dublin a Lord-Mayor, 2 Sheriffs, 24 Aldermen, 48 Sheriffs Peers, and 96 of the Common-Council. There are besides, Companies or Corporations of Trades-men.
There is lately instituted an Hospital for poor Children, not yet fully perfected or endowed3 .
There is also an Hospital for Sick, Lame, and Old Soldiers, but without Endowment, and standing but at discretion and pleasure1 .
There are in and near Dublin, three Publick Prisons, and one House of Correction.
Lastly, I must intimate, that the Footmanship for which the Irish 40 years agone were very famous, is now almost quite lost among them, every man now keeping a small Garran to ride on, unless in such rocky and craggy places, where ‘tis easier to go a foot than to ride.‖
S, ‘and…… other Peers.’
The complaints against the presidential court of Munster are alluded to by Carte, Ormond, II. 369.
S, ‘by 21 Bishops, Arch Deacons…. Deans.’
S, ‘12 or 20.’
S, ‘12 or 20 Lay-Patriots.’
S, ‘at this time about…. commoners.’
The Dublin “Fraternity of Physicians”; founded by Dr John Stearne in 1654 was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1667 as “The President and Fellows of the College of Physicians in Dublin.” In this first charter fourteen Fellows were nominated, the first of whom, Dr Stearne, was appointed President for life, and ‘the next on the list was the celebrated Sir William Petty,’ who had been a member of the Fraternity from its first organization. In 1692 the College received a new Charter under its present name. Register of the King's and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland (1865), pp. 5,6,91.
Probably the hospital on Oxmantown-Green, officially “The Hospital and Free School of King Charles the Second, Dublin.” Towards the support of this hospital Petty gave £20 per annum out of £321. 2s. II½d. so contributed. Narrative and Account concerning the Hospital on Oxmantown Green. Published for the Satisfaction of the Subscribers, 1671. Now Republished by Charles Lucas, Dublin, 1749. Petty's gift was made after 15 Jany., 1670, as his name does not appear in the list of “Benefactors or Subscribers for the Hospital,” of that date, printed by Gilbert, Calendar, IV. 492–494.
This paragraph may have been inserted after the completion of the Polit. Anat., which occurred in 1672 or 1673. An Account of the Founding of the Royal Hospital of Charles II. near Dublin for the Relief and Maintenance of Antient and Infirm Officers and Soldiers Serving in the Army of Ireland. [By Thomas Wilson.] Dublin, 1713, says that from the example of Louis XIV. in establishing the Hôtel des Invalides ‘first sprung the Notion of Building the Like in this Kingdom, which was happily Entertain'd at first by the Earl of Granard…. in or about the Year 1675.’ Granard communicated with the Lord Lieutenant, Essex, but nothing came of the matter until the arrival of Ormond in 1677. On 27 October, 1679 Ormond wrote to the King in favour of the proposed hospital, and an order for its endowment was accordingly given at the Council Chamber, 27 February, 1680. The building was erected 1680–1686. Pp. 4–15.