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CHAPTER IV. - Sir James Mackintosh, The Miscellaneous Works 
The Miscellaneous Works. Three Volumes, complete in One. (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1871).
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Scotland.—Administration of Queensberry.—Conversion of Perth.—Measures contemplated by the King.—Debates in Parliament on the King’s letter.—Proposed bill of toleration—unsatisfactory to James.—Adjournment of Parliament.—Exercise of prerogative.
Ireland.—Character of Tyrconnel.—Review of the state of Ireland.—Arrival of Tyrconnel.—His appointment as Lord Deputy.—Advancement of Catholics to offices.—Tyrconnel aims at the sovereign power in Ireland.—Intrigues with France.
The government of Scotland, under the Episcopal ministers of Charles II., was such, that, to the Presbyterians, who formed the majority of the people, “their native country had, by the prevalence of persecution and violence, become as insecure as a den of robbers.”† The chief place in the administration had been filled for some years by Queensberry, a man of ability, the leader of the Episcopal party, who, in that character as well as from a matrimonial connection between their families, was disposed to an union of councils with Rochester.‡ Adopting the principles of his English friends, he seemed ready to sacrifice the remaining liberties of his country, but resolved to adhere to the Established Church. The acts of the first session in the reign of James are such as to have extorted from a great historian of calm temper, and friendly to the house of Stuart, the reflection that “nothing could exceed the abject servility of the Scotch nation during this period but the arbitrary severity of the administration.”§ Not content with servility and cruelty for the moment, they laid down principles which would render slavery universal and perpetual, by assuring the King “that they abhor and detest all principles and positions which are contrary or derogatory to the King’s sacred, supreme, absolute power and authority, which none, whether persons or collective bodies, can participate of, in any manner or on any pretext, but in dependence on him and by commission from him.”∥
But the jealousies between the King’s party and that of the Church among the Scotch ministers were sooner visible than those between the corresponding factions in the English council; and they seem, in some degree, to have limited the severities which followed the revolt of Argyle. The Privy Council, at the intercession of some ladies of distinction, prevented the Marquis of Athol from hanging Mr. Charles Campbell, then confined by a fever, at the gates of his father’s castle of Inverary:* and it was probably by their representations that James was induced to recall instructions which he had issued to the Duke of Queensberry for the suppression of the name of Campbell;† which would have amounted to a proscription of several noblemen, a considerable body of gentry, and the most numerous and powerful tribe in the kingdom. They did not, however, hesitate in the execution of the King’s orders to dispense with the Test in the case of four peers and twenty-two gentlemen, who were required by law to take it before they exercised the office of commissioners to assess the supply in their respective counties.‡
The Earl of Perth, the Chancellor of Scotland, began now to attack Queensberry by means somewhat similar to those employed by Sunderland against Rochester. Queensberry had two years before procured the appointment of Perth, as it was believed, by a present of a sum of 27,000l. of public money to the Duchess of Portsmouth. Under a new reign, when that lady was by no means a favourite, both Queensberry and Perth apprehended a severe inquisition into this misapplication of public money;§ Perth, whether actuated by fear or ambition, made haste to consult his security and advancement by conforming to the religion of the Court, on which Lord Halifax observed, that “his faith had made him whole.” Queensberry adhered to the Established Church.
The Chancellor soon began to exercise that ascendency which he acquired by his conversion, in such a manner as to provoke immediate demonstrations of the zeal against the Church of Rome, which the Scotch Presbyterians carried farther than any other Reformed community. He issued an order against the sale of any books without license, which was universally understood as intended to prevent the circulation of controversial writings against the King’s religion. Glen, a bookseller in Edinburgh, when he received this warning, said, that he had one book which strongly condemned Popery, and desired to know whether he might continue to sell it. Being asked what the book was, he answered, “The Bible.”∥ Shortly afterwards the populace manifested their indignation at the public celebration of mass by riots, in the suppression of which several persons were killed. A law to inflict adequate penalties on such offences against the security of religious worship would have been perfectly just. But as the laws of Scotland had however unjustly, made it a crime to be present at the celebration of mass, it was said, with some plausibility, that the rioters had only dispersed an unlawful assembly. The lawyers evaded this difficulty by the ingenious expedient of keeping out of view the origin and object of the tumults, and prosecuted the offenders, merely for rioting in violation of certain ancient statutes, some of which rendered that offence capital. They were pursued with such singular barbarity that one Keith, who was not present at the tumult, was executed for having said, that he would have helped the rioters, and for having drank confusion to all Papists; though he at the same time drank the health of the King, and though in both cases he only followed the example of the witnesses on whose evidence he was convicted. Attempts were vainly made to persuade this poor man to charge Queensberry with being accessory to the riots, which he had freely ridiculed in private. That nobleman was immediately after removed from the office of Treasurer, but he was at the same time appointed Lord President of the Council with a pension, that the Court might retain some hold on him during the important discussions at the approaching session of Parliament.
The King communicated to the secret committee of the Scotch Privy Council his intended instructions to the Commissioners relative to the measures to be proposed to Parliament. They comprehended the repeal of the Test, the abrogation of the sanguinary laws as far as they related to Papists, the admission of these last to all civil and military employments, and the confirmation of all the King’s dispensations, even in the reigns of his successors, unless they were recalled by Parliament. On these terms he declared his willingness to assent to any law (not repugnant to these things) for securing the Protestant religion, and the personal dignities, offices, and possessions of the clergy, and for continuing all laws against fanaticism.* The Privy Council manifested some unwonted scruples about these propositions: James answered them angrily.† Perplexed by this unexpected resistance, as well as by the divisions in the Scottish councils, and the repugnance shown by the Episcopalian party to any measure which might bring the privileges of Catholics more near to a level with their own, he commanded the Duke of Hamilton and Sir George Lockhart, President of the Court of Session, to come to London, with a view to ascertain their inclinations, and to dispose them favourably to his objects, but under colour of consulting them on the nature of the relief which it might be prudent to propose for the members of his own communion.* The Scotch negotiators (for as such they seem to have acted) conducted the discussion with no small discretion and dexterity. They professed their readiness to concur in the repeal of the penal and sanguinary laws against Catholics; observing, however, the difficulty of proposing to confine such an indulgence to one class of dissidents, and the policy of moving for a general toleration, which it would be as much the interests of Presbyterians as of Catholics to promote. They added, that it might be more politic not to propose the repeal of the Test as a measure of government, but either to leave it to the spontaneous disposition of Parliament, which would very probably repeal a law aimed in Scotland against Presbyterians as exclusively as it had in England been intended to exclude Catholics, or to trust to the King’s dispensing power, which was there undisputed;—as indeed every part of the prerogative was in that country held to be above question, and without limits.† These propositions embarrassed James and his more zealous counsellors. The King struggled obstinately against the extension of the liberty to the Presbyterians. The Scotch councillors required, that if the Test was repealed, the King should bind himself by the most solemn promise to attempt no farther alteration or abridgment of the privileges of the Protestant clergy. James did not conceal from them his repugnance thus to confirm and to secure the establishment of a heretical Church. He imputed the pertinacity of Hamilton to the insinuations of Rochester, and that of Lockhart to the still more obnoxious influence of his father-in-law, Lord Wharton.‡
The Earl of Moray, a recent convert to the Catholic religion, opened Parliament on the 29th of April, and laid before it a royal letter, exhibiting traces of the indecision and ambiguity which were the natural consequence of the unsuccessful issue of the conferences in London. The King begins with holding out the temptation of a free trade with England, and after tendering an ample amnesty, proceeds to state, that while he shows these acts of mercy to the enemies of his crown and royal dignity, he cannot be unmindful of his Roman Catholic subjects, who had adhered to the Crown in rebellions and usurpations, though they lay under discouragements hardly to be named. He recommends them to the care of Parliament, and desires that they may have the protection of the laws and the same security with other subjects, without being laid under obligations which their religion will not admit of. “This love,” he says, “we expect ye will show to your brethren, as you see we are an indulgent father to you all.”§
At the next sitting an answer was voted, thanking the King for his endeavours to procure a free trade with England; expressing the utmost admiration of the offer of amnesty to such desperate rebels against so merciful a prince; declaring, “as to that part of your Majesty’s letter which relates to your subjects of the Roman Catholic persuasion, we shall, in obedience to your Majesty’s commands, and in tenderness to their persons, take the same into our serious and dutiful consideration, and go as great lengths therein as our consciences will allow;” and concluding with these words, which were the more significant because they were not called for by any correspondent paragraph in the King’s letter:—“Not doubting that your Majesty will be careful to secure the Protestant religion established by law.” Even this answer, cold and guarded as it was, did not pass without some debate, important only as indicating the temper of the assembly. The words, “subjects of the Roman Catholic religion,” were objected to, “as not to be given by Parliament to individuals, whom the law treated as criminals, and to a Church which Protestants could not, without inconsistency, regard as entitled to the appellation of Catholic.” Lord Fountainhall proposed as an amendment, the substitution of “those commonly called Roman Catholics.” The Earl of Perth called this nicknaming the King, and proposed, “those subjects your Majesty has recommended.” The Archbishop of Glasgow supported the original answer, upon condition of an entry in the Journals, declaring that the words were used only out of courtesy to the King, as a repetition of the language of his letter. A minority of fifty-six in a house of one hundred and eighty-two voted against the original words, even though they were to be thus explained.* Some members doubted whether they could sincerely profess a disposition to go any farther lengths in favour of the Romanists, being convinced that all the laws against the members of that communion ought to continue in force. The Parliament having been elected under the administration of Queensberry, the Episcopal party was very powerful both in that assembly and in the committee called the “Lords of the Articles,” with whom alone a bill could originate. The Scottish Catholics were an inconsiderable body; and the Presbyterians, though comprehending the most intelligent, moral, and religious part of the people, so far from having any influence in the legislature, were proscribed as criminals, and subject to a more cruel and sanguinary persecution at the hands of their Protestant brethren than either of these communions had ever experienced from Catholic rulers.† Those of the prelates who preferred the interest of their order to their own were dissatisfied even with the very limited measure of toleration laid before the Lords of the Articles, which only proposed to exempt Catholics from punishment on account of the private exercise of their religious worship.* The Primate was alarmed by a hint thrown out by the Duke of Hamilton, that a toleration so limited might be granted to dissenting Protestants;† nor, on the other hand, was the resistance of the prelates softened by the lure held out by the King in his first instructions, that if they would remove the Test against Catholics they should be indulged in the persecution of their fellow Protestants. The Lords of the Articles were forced to introduce into the bill two clauses;—one declaring their determination to adhere to the established religion, the other expressly providing, that the immunity and forbearance contemplated should not derogate from the laws which required the oath of allegiance and the test to be taken by all persons in offices of public trust.‡
The arguments on both sides are to be found in pamphlets then printed at Edinburgh; those for the Government publicly and actively circulated, those of the opposite party disseminated clandestinely.§ The principal part, as in all such controversies, consists in personalities, recriminations, charges of inconsistency, and addresses to prejudice, which scarcely any ability can render interesting after the passions from which they spring have subsided and are forgotten. It happened, also, that temporary circumstances required or occasioned the best arguments not to be urged by the disputants. Considered on general principles, the bill, like every other measure of toleration, was justly liable to no permanent objection but its incompleteness and partiality. But no Protestant sect was then so tolerant as to object to the imperfection of the relief to be granted to Catholics; and the ruling party were neither entitled nor disposed to complain, that the Protestant Non-conformists, whom they had so long persecuted, were not to be comprehended in the toleration. The only objection which could reasonably be made to the tolerant principles, now for the first time inculcated by the advocates of the Court, was, that they were not proposed with good faith, or for the relief of the Catholics but for the subversion of the Protestant Church, and the ultimate establishment of Popery, with all the horrors which were to follow in its train. The present effects of the bill were a subject of more urgent consideration than its general character. It was more necessary to ascertain the purpose which it was intended and calculated to promote at the instant, than to examine the principles on which such a measure, in other circumstances and in common times, might be perfectly wise and just. Even then, had any man been liberal and bold enough to propose universal and perfect liberty of worship, the adoption of such a measure would probably have afforded the most effectual security against the designs of the Crown. But very few entertained so generous a principle: and of these, some might doubt the wisdom of its application in that hour of peril, while no one could have proposed it with any hope that it could be adopted by the majority of such a Parliament. It can hardly be a subject of wonder, that the Established clergy, without any root in the opinions and affections of the people, on whom they were imposed by law, and against whom they were maintained by persecution, should not in the midst of conscious weakness have had calmness and fortitude enough to consider the policy of concession, but trembling for their unpopular dignities and invidious revenues, should recoil from the surrender of the most distant outpost which seemed to guard them, and struggle with all their might to keep those who threatened to become their most formidable rivals under the brand at least,—if not the scourge,—of penal laws. It must be owned, that the language of the Court writers was not calculated either to calm the apprehensions of the Church, or to satisfy the solicitude of the friends of liberty. They told Parliament, “that if the King were exasperated by the rejection of the bill, he might, without the violation of any law, alone remove all Protestant officers and judges from the government of the State, and all Protestant bishops and ministers from the government of the Church;”* —a threat the more alarming, because the dispensing power seemed sufficient to carry it into effect in civil offices, and the Scotch Act of Supremacy, passed in one of the paroxysms of servility which were frequent in the first years of the Restoration,† appeared to afford the means of fully accomplishing it against the Church.
The unexpected obstinacy of the Scottish Parliament alarmed and offended the Court. Their answer did not receive the usual compliment of publication in the Gazette.—Orders were sent to Edinburgh to remove two Privy Councillors,‡ to displace Seton, a judge, and to deprive the Bishop of Dunkeld of a pension, for their conduct. Sir George Mackenzie, himself, the most eloquent and accomplished Scotchman of his age, was for the same reason dismissed from the office of Lord Advocate.* It was in vain that he had dishonoured his genius by being for ten years the advocate of tyranny and the minister of persecution: all his ignominious claims were cancelled by the independence of one day. It was hoped that such examples might strike terror.* Several noblemen, who held commissions in the army, were ordered to repair to their posts. Some members were threatened with the avoidance of their elections.† A prosecution was commenced against the Bishop of Ross, and the proceedings were studiously protracted, to weary out the poorer part of those who refused to comply with the Court. The ministers scrupled at no expedient for seducing, or intimidating, or harassing. But these expedients proved ineffectual. The majority of the Parliament adhered to their principles; and the session lingered for about a month in the midst of ordinary or unimportant affairs.‡ The Bill for Toleration was not brought up by the Lords of the Articles. The commissioners, doubting whether it would be carried, and probably instructed by the Court that it would neither satisfy the expectations nor promote the purposes of the King, in the middle of June adjourned the Parliament, which was never again to assemble.
It was no wonder that the King should have been painfully disappointed by the failure of his attempt; for after the conclusion of the session, it was said by zealous and pious Protestants, that nothing less than a special interposition of Providence could have infused into such an assembly a steadfast resolution to withstand the Court.§ The royal displeasure was manifested by measures of a very violent sort. The despotic supremacy of the King over the Church was exercised by depriving Bruce of his bishopric of Dunkeld;∥ —a severity which, not long after, was repeated in the deprivation of Cairncross, Archbishop of Glasgow, for some supposed countenance to an obnoxious preacher, though that prelate laboured to avert it by promises of support to all measures favourable to the King’s religion.* A few days after the prorogation, Queensberry was dismissed from all his offices, and required not to leave Edinburgh until he had rendered an account of his administration of the treasury.† Some part of the royal displeasure fell upon Sir George Mackenzie, the Lord Register, lately created Lord Cromarty, the most submissive servant of every government, for having flattered the King, by too confident assurances of a majority as obsequious as himself. The connection of Rochester with Queensberry now aggravated the offence of the latter, and prepared the way for the downfall of the former. Moray, the commissioner, promised positive proofs, but produced at last only such circumstances as were sufficient to confirm the previous jealousies of James, that the Scotch Opposition were in secret correspondence with Pensionary Fagel, and even with the Prince of Orange.‡ Sir George Mackenzie, whose unwonted independence seems to have speedily faltered, was refused an audience of the King, when he visited London with the too probable purpose of making his peace. The most zealous Protestants being soon afterwards removed from the Privy Council, and the principal noblemen of the Catholic communion being introduced in their stead, James addressed a letter to the Council, informing them that his application to Parliament had not arisen from any doubt of his own power to stop the severities against Catholics; declaring his intention to allow the exercise of the Catholic worship, and to establish a chapel for that purpose in his own palace of Holyrood House; and intimating to the judges, that they were to receive the allegation of this allowance as a valid defence, any law to the contrary notwithstanding.§ The warm royalists, in their proposed answer, expressly acknowledge the King’s prerogative to be a legal security: but the Council, in consequence of an objection of the Duke of Hamilton, faintly asserted their independence, by substituting “sufficient” instead of “legal.”∥
The determination was thus avowed of pursuing the objects of the King’s policy in Scotland by the exercise of prerogative, at least until a more compliant Parliament could be obtained, which would not only remove all doubt for the present, but protect the Catholics against the recall of the dispensations by James’ successors. The means principally relied on for the accomplishment of that object was the power now assumed by the King to stop the annual elections in burghs, to nominate the chief magistrates, and through them to command the election by more summary proceedings than those of the English courts. The choice of ministers corresponded with the principles of administration. The disgrace of the Duke of Hamilton, a few months later,* completed the transfer of power to the party which professed an unbounded devotion to the principles of their master in the government both of Church and State. The measures of the Government did not belie their professions. Sums of money, considerable when compared with the scanty revenue of Scotland, were employed in support of establishments for the maintenance and propagation of the Roman Catholic religion. A sum of 1400l. a year was granted, in equal portions, to the Catholic missionaries, to the Jesuit missionaries, to the mission in the Highlands, to the Chapel Royal, and to each of the Scotch colleges at Paris, Douay, and Rome.† The Duke of Hamilton, Keeper of the Palace, was commanded to surrender the Chancellor’s apartments in Holyrood House to a college of Jesuits.‡ By a manifest act of partiality, two-thirds of the allowance made by Charles the Second to indigent royalists were directed to be paid to Catholics; and all pensions and allowances to persons of that religion were required to be paid in the first place, in preference to all other pensions.§ Some of these grants, it is true, if they had been made by a liberal sovereign in a tolerant age, were in themselves justifiable; but neither the character of the King, nor the situation of the country, nor the opinions of the times, left any reasonable man at liberty then to doubt their purpose; and some of them were attended by circumstances which would be remarkable as proofs of the infatuated imprudence of the King and his counsellors, if they were not more worthy of observation as symptoms of that insolent contempt with which they trampled on the provisions of law, and on the strongest feelings of the people.
The government of Ireland, as well as that of England and Scotland, was, at the accession of James, allowed to remain in the hands of Protestant Tories. The Lord-lieutenancy was, indeed, taken from the Duke of Ormonde, then far advanced in years, but it was bestowed on a nobleman of the same party, Lord Clarendon, whose moderate understanding added little to those claims on high office, which he derived from his birth, connections, and opinions. But the feeble and timid Lord Lieutenant was soon held in check by Richard Talbot, then created Earl of Tyrconnel, a Catholic gentleman of ancient English extraction, who joined talents and spirit to violent passions, boisterous manners, unbounded indulgence in every excess, and a furious zeal for his religious party.* His character was tainted by that disposition to falsehood and artifice, which, however seemingly inconsistent with violent passions, is often combined with them; and he possessed more of the beauty and bravery than of the wit or eloquence of his unhappy nation. He had been first introduced to Charles II. and his brother before the Restoration, as one who was willing to assassinate Cromwell, and had made a journey into England with that resolution. He soon after received an appointment in the household of the Duke of York, and retained the favour of that prince during the remainder of his life. In the year 1666, he was imprisoned for a few days by Charles II., for having resolved to assassinate the Duke of Ormonde, with whose Irish administration he was dissatisfied.† He did not, however, even by the last of these criminal projects, forfeit the patronage of either of the royal brothers, and at the accession of James held a high place among his personal favourites. He was induced, both by zeal for the Catholic party, and by animosity against the family of Hyde, to give effectual aid to Sunderland in the overthrow of Rochester, and required in return that the conduct of Irish affairs should be left to him.‡ Sunderland dreaded the temper of Tyrconnel, and was desirous of performing his part of the bargain with as little risk as possible to the quiet of Ireland. The latter at first contented himself with the rank of senior General Officer on the Irish staff; in which character he returned to Dublin in June, 1686, as the avowed favourite of the King, and with powers to new-model the army. His arrival, however, had been preceded by reports of extensive changes in the government of the kingdom.* The State, the Church, the administration, and the property of that unhappy island, were bound together by such unnatural ties, and placed on such weak foundations that every rumour of alteration in one of them spread the deepest alarm for the safety of the whole.
From the colonization of a small part of the eastern coast under Henry II., till the last years of the reign of Elizabeth, an unceasing and cruel warfare was waged by the English governors against the princes and chiefs of the Irish tribes, with little other effect than that of preventing the progress of civilization among the Irish, of replunging many of the English into barbarism, and of generating that deadly animosity between the natives and the invaders, under the names of Irishry and Englishry, which, assuming various forms, and exasperated by a fatal succession of causes, has continued even to our days the source of innumerable woes. During that dreadful period of four hundred years, the laws of the English colony did not punish the murder of a man of Irish blood as a crime.† Even so late as the year 1547, the Colonial Assembly, called a “Parliament,” confirmed the insolent laws which prohibited the English “of the pale” from marrying persons of Irish blood.‡ Religious hostility inflamed the hatred of these mortal foes. The Irish, attached to their ancient opinions as well as usages, and little addicted to doubt or inquiry, rejected the reformation of religion offered to them by their enemies. The Protestant worship became soon to be considered by them as the odious badge of conquest and oppression;§ while the ancient religion was endeared by persecution, and by its association with the name, the language, and the manners of their country. The island had long been represented as a fief of the See of Rome; the Catholic clergy, and even laity, had no unchangeable friend but the Sovereign Pontiff; and their chief hope of deliverance from a hostile yoke was long confined to Spain, the leader of the Catholic party in the European commonwealth. The old enmity of Irishry and Englishry thus appeared with redoubled force under the new names of Catholic and Protestant. The necessity of self-defence compelled Elizabeth to attempt the complete reduction of Ireland, which, since she had assumed her station at the head of Protestants, became the only vulnerable part of her dominions, and a weapon in the hands of her most formidable enemies. But few of the benefits which sometimes atone for conquest were felt by Ireland. Neither the success with which Elizabeth broke the barbaric power of the Irish chieftains, nor the real benevolence and seeming policy of introducing industrious colonies under her successor, counterbalanced the dreadful evil which was then for the first time added to her hereditary sufferings. The extensive forfeiture of the lands of the Catholic Irish, and the grant of these lands to Protestant natives of Great Britain, became a new source of hatred between these irreconcilable factions. Forty years of quiet, however, followed, in which a Parliament of all districts, and of both religions, was assembled. The administration of the Earl of Strafford bore the stamp of the political vices which tarnished his genius, and which often prevailed over those generous affections of which he was not incapable towards those who neither rivalled nor resisted him. The state of Ireland abounded with temptations,—to a man of daring and haughty spirit, intent on taming a turbulent people, and impatient of slow discipline of law and justice,—to adopt those violent and summary measures, the necessity of which his nature prompted him too easily to believe.* When his vigorous arm was withdrawn, the Irish were once more excited to revolt by the memory of the provocations which they had received from him and from his predecessors, by the feebleness of their government, and by the confusion and distraction which announced the approach of civil war in Great Britain. This insurrection, which broke out in 1641, and of which the atrocities appear to have been extravagantly exaggerated† by the writers of the victorious party, was only finally subdued by the genius of Cromwell, who, urged by the general antipathy against the Irish,‡ and the peculiar animosity of his own followers towards Catholics, exercised more than once in his Irish campaigns the most odious rights or practices of war, departing from the clemency which usually distinguished him above most men who have obtained supreme power by violence. The confiscation which followed Cromwell’s victories, added to the forfeitures under Elizabeth and James, transferred more than two-thirds of the land of the kingdom to British adventurers.* “Not only all the Irish nation (with very few exceptions) were found guilty of the rebellion, and forfeited all their estates, but all the English Catholics of Ireland were declared to be under the same guilt.”† The ancient proprietors conceived sanguine hopes, that confiscations by usurpers would not be ratified by the restored government. But their agents were inexperienced, indiscreet, and sometimes mercenary; while their opponents, who were in possession of power and property, chose the Irish House of Commons, and secured the needy and rapacious courtiers of Charles II. by large bribes.‡ The Court became a mart at which much of the property of Ireland was sold to the highest bidder;—the inevitable result of measures not governed by rules of law, but loaded with exceptions and conditions, where the artful use of a single word might affect the possession of considerable fortunes, and where so many minute particulars relating to unknown and uninteresting subjects were necessarily introduced, that none but parties deeply concerned had the patience to examine them. Charles was desirous of an arrangement which should give him the largest means of quieting, by profuse grants, the importunity of his favourites. He began to speak of the necessity of strengthening the English interest in Ireland, and he represented the “settlement” rather as a matter of policy than of justice. The usual and legitimate policy of statesmen and lawgivers is, doubtless, to favour every measure which quiets present possession, and to discourage all retrospective inquisition into the tenure of property. But the Irish Government professed to adopt a principle of compromise, and the general object of the statute called the “Act of Settlement,” was to secure the land in the hands of its possessors, on condition of their making a certain compensation to those classes of expelled proprietors who were considered as innocent of the rebellion. Those, however, were declared not to be innocent who had accepted the terms of peace granted by the King in 1648, who had paid contributions to support the insurgent administration, or who enjoyed any real or personal property in the districts occupied by the rebel army. The first of these conditions was singularly unjust; the two latter must have comprehended many who were entirely innocent; and all of them were inconsistent with those principles of compromise and provision for the interest of all on which the act was professedly founded. Ormonde, however, restored to his own great estates, and gratified by a grant of 30,000l. from the Irish Commons, acquiesced in this measure, and it was not opposed by his friend Clarendon;—circumstances which naturally, though perhaps not justly, have rendered the memory of these celebrated men odious to the Irish Catholics. During the whole reign of Charles II. they struggled to obtain a repeal of the Act of Settlement. But Time opposed his mighty power to their labours. Every new year strengthened the rights of the possessors, and furnished additional objections against the claims of the old owners. It is far easier to do mischief than to repair it; and it is one of the most malignant properties of extensive confiscation that it is commonly irreparable. The land is shortly sold to honest purchasers; it is inherited by innocent children; it becomes the security of creditors; its safety becomes interwoven, by the complicated transactions of life, with all the interests of the community. One act of injustice is not atoned for by the commission of another against parties who may be equally unoffending. In such cases the most specious plans for the investigation of conflicting claims lead either to endless delay, attended by the entire suspension of the enjoyment of the disputed property, if not by a final extinction of its value, or to precipitate injustice, arising from caprice, from favour, from enmity, or from venality. The resumption of forfeited property, and the restoration of it to the heirs of the ancient owners, may be attended by all the mischievous consequences of the original confiscation; by the disturbance of habits, and by the disappointment of expectations; and by an abatement of that reliance on the inviolability of legal possession, which is the mainspring of industry, and the chief source of comfort.
The arrival of Tyrconnel revived the hopes of the Catholics. They were at that time estimated to amount to eight hundred thousand souls; the English Episcopalians, the English Nonconformists, and the Scotch Presbyterians, each to one hundred thousand.* There was an army of three thousand men, which in the sequel of this reign was raised to eight thousand. The net revenue afforded a yearly average of 300,000l.† Before the civil war of 1641, the disproportion of numbers of Catholics to Protestants had been much greater; and by the consequences of that event, the balance of property had been entirely reversed.* “In playing of this game or match” (the war of 1641) “upon so great odds, the English,” says Sir William Petty, “won, and have a gamester’s right at least to their estates.”† On the arrival of Tyrconnel, too, were redoubled the fears of the Protestants for possessions always invidious, and now, as it seemed, about to be precarious. The attempt to give both parties a sort of representation in the government, and to balance the Protestant Lord Lieutenant by a Catholic commander of the army, unsettled the minds of the two communions. The Protestants, though they saw that the rising ascendant of Tyrconnel would speedily become irresistible, were betrayed into occasional indiscretion by the declarations of the Lord Lieutenant; and the Catholics, aware of their growing force, were only exasperated by Clarendon’s faint and fearful show of zeal for the established laws. The contemptuous disregard, or rather indecent insolence manifested by Tyrconnel in his conversations with Lord Clarendon, betrayed a consciousness of the superiority of a royal favourite over a Lord Lieutenant, who had to execute a system to which he was disinclined, and was to remain in office a little longer only as a pageant of state. He indulged all his habitual indecencies and excesses; he gave loose to every passion, and threw off every restraint of good manners in these conversations. It is difficult to represent them in a manner compatible with the decorum of history: yet they are too characteristic to be passed over. “You must know, my Lord,” said Tyrconnel, “that the King is a Roman Catholic, and resolved to employ his subjects of that religion, and that he will not keep one man in his service who ever served under the usurpers. The sheriffs you have made are generally rogues and old Cromwellians. There has not been an honest man sheriff in Ireland these twenty years.” Such language, intermingled with oaths, and uttered in the boisterous tone of a braggart youth, somewhat intoxicated, in a military guard-house, are specimens of the manner in which Tyrconnel delivered his opinions to his superior on the gravest affairs of state. It was no wonder that Clarendon told his brother Rochester,—“If this Lord continue in the temper he is in, he will gain here the reputation of a madman; for his treatment of people is scarce to be described.”‡ The more moderate of his own communion, comprehending almost all laymen of education or fortune, he reviled as trimmers. He divided the Catholics, and embroiled the King’s affairs still farther by a violent prejudice against the native Irish, whom he contemptuously called the “O’s and Macs.”* To the letter of the King’s public declarations, or even positive instructions to the Lord Lieutenant, he paid very little regard. He was sent by James “to do the rough work” of remodelling the army and the corporations. With respect to the army, the King professed only to admit all his subjects on an equal footing without regard to religion; but Tyrconnel’s language, and, when he had the power, his measures, led to the formation of an exclusively Catholic force.† The Lord Lieutenant reasonably understood the royal intentions to be no more than that the Catholic religion should be no bar to the admission of persons otherwise qualified into corporations: Tyrconnel disregarded such distinctions, and declared, with one of his usual oaths, “I do not know what to say to that; I would have all the Catholics in.”‡ Three unexceptionable judges of the Protestant persuasion were, by the King’s command, removed from the bench to make way for three Catholics,—Daly, Rice, and Nugent,—also, it ought to be added, of unobjectionable character and competent learning in their profession.§ Officious sycophants hastened to prosecute those incautious Protestants who, in the late times of zeal against Popery, had spoken with freedom against the succession of the Duke of York; though it is due to justice to remark, that the Catholic council, judges, and juries, discouraged these vexatious prosecutions, and prevented them from producing any very grievous effects. The King had in the beginning solemnly declared his determination to adhere to the Act of Settlement; but Tyrconnel, with his usual imprecations, said to the Lord Lieutenant, “These Acts of Settlement, and this new interest, are cursed things.”∥ The coarseness and insolence of Tyrconnel could not fail to offend the Lord Lieutenant: but it is apparent, from the latter’s own description, that he was still more frightened than provoked; and perhaps more decorous language would not have so suddenly and completely subdued the little spirit of the demure lord. Certain it is that these scenes of violence were immediately followed by the most profuse professions of his readiness to do whatever the King required, without any reservation even of the interest of the Established Church. These professions were not merely formularies of that ignoble obsequiousness which degrades the inferior too much to exalt the superior: they were explicit and precise declarations relating to the particulars of the most momentous measures then in agitation. In speaking of the reformation of the army he repeated his assurance to Sunderland, “that the King may have every thing done here which he has a mind to: and it is more easy to do things quietly than in a storm.”* He descended to declare even to Tyrconnel himself, that “it was not material how many Roman Catholics were in the army, if the King would have it so; for whatever his Majesty would have should be made easy as far as lay in me.”†
In the mean time Clarendon had incurred the displeasure of the Queen by his supposed civilities to Lady Dorchester during her residence in Ireland. The King was also displeased at the disposition which he imputed to the Lord Lieutenant rather to traverse than to forward the designs of Tyrconnel in favour of the Catholics.‡ It was in vain that the submissive viceroy attempted to disarm these resentments by abject declarations of deep regret and unbounded devotedness.§ The daily decline of the credit of Rochester deprived his brother of his best support; and Tyrconnel, who returned to Court in August, 1686, found it easy to effect a change in the government of Ireland. But he found more difficulty in obtaining that important government for himself. Sunderland tried every means but the resignation of his own office to avert so impolitic an appointment. He urged the declaration of the King, on the removal of Ormonde, that he would not bestow the lieutenancy on a native Irishman: he represented the danger of alarming all Protestants, by appointing to that office an acknowledged enemy of the Act of Settlement, and of exciting the apprehensions of all Englishmen, by intrusting Ireland to a man so devoted to the service of Louis XIV: he offered to make Tyrconnel a Major General on the English staff, with a pension of 5000l. a year, and with as absolute though as secret authority in the affairs of Ireland, as Lauderdale had possessed in those of Scotland: he promised that after the abrogation of the penal laws in England, Tyrconnel, if he pleased, might be appointed Lord Lieutenant in the room of Lord Powis, who was destined for the present to succeed Clarendon. Tyrconnel turned a deaf ear to these proposals, and threatened to make disclosures to the King and Queen which might overthrow the policy and power of Sunderland. The latter, when he was led by his contest with Rochester to throw himself into the arms of the Roman Catholics, had formed a more particular connection with Jermyn and Talbot, as the King’s favourites, and as the enemies of the family of Hyde: Tyrconnel now threatened to disclose the terms and objects of that league, the real purpose of removing Lady Dorchester, and the declaration of Sunderland, when this alliance was formed, “that the King could only be governed by a woman or a priest, and that they must therefore combine the influence of the Queen with that of Father Petre.” Sunderland appears to have made some resistance even after this formidable threat; and Tyrconnel proposed that the young Duke of Berwick should marry his daughter, and be created Lord Lieutenant, while he himself should enjoy the power under the more modest title of “Lord Deputy.”* A council, consisting of Sunderland, Tyrconnel, and the Catholic ministers, was held on the affairs of Ireland in the month of October. The members who gave their opinions before Tyrconnel maintained the necessity of conforming to the Act of Settlement; but Tyrconnel exclaimed against them for advising the King to an act of injustice ruinous to the interests of religion. The conscience of James was alarmed, and he appointed the next day to hear the reasons of state which Sunderland had to urge on the opposite side. Tyrconnel renewed his vehement invectives against the iniquity and impiety of the counsels which he opposed; and Sunderland, who began as he often did with useful advice, ended, as usual, with a hesitating and ambiguous submission to his master’s pleasure, trusting to accident and his own address to prevent or mitigate the execution of violent measures.† These proceedings decided the contest for office; and Tyrconnel received the sword of state as Lord Deputy on the 12th February, 1687.
The King’s professions of equality and impartiality in the distribution of office between the two adverse communions were speedily and totally disregarded. The Lord Deputy and the greater part of the Privy Council, the Lord Chancellor with three fourths of the judges, all the King’s counsel but one, almost all the sheriffs, and a majority of corporators and justices, were, in less than a year, Catholics;—numbers so disproportioned to the relative property, education, and ability for business, to be found in the two religions, that even if the appointments had not been tainted with the inexpiable blame of defiance to the laws, they must still have been regarded by the Protestants with the utmost apprehension, as indications of sinister designs. Fitten, the Chancellor, was promoted from the King’s Bench prison, where he had been long a prisoner for debt; and he was charged, though probably without reason, by his opponents, with forgery, said to have been committed in a long suit with Lord Macclesfield. His real faults were ignorance and subserviency. Neither of these vices could be imputed to Sir Richard Nagle, the Catholic Attorney General, who seems chargeable only with the inevitable fault of being actuated by a dangerous zeal for his own suffering party. It does not appear that the Catholic judges actually abused their power. We have already seen that, instead of seeking to retaliate for the murders of the Popish Plot, they discountenanced prosecutions against their adversaries with a moderation and forbearance very rarely to be discovered in the policy of parties in the first moments of victory over long oppression. It is true that these Catholic judges gave judgment against the charters of towns; but in these judgments they only followed the example of the most eminent of their Protestant brethren in England.* The evils of insecurity and alarm were those which were chiefly experienced by the Irish Protestants. These mischiefs, very great in themselves, depended so much on the character, temper, and manner, of the Lord Deputy, on the triumphant or sometimes threatening conversation of their Catholic neighbours, on the recollection of bloody civil wars, and on the painful consciousness which haunts the possessors of recently confiscated property, that it may be thought unreasonable to require any other or more positive proof of their prevalence. Some visible fruits of the alarm are pointed out. The Protestants, who were the wealthiest traders as well as the most ingenious artisans of the kingdom, began to emigrate: the revenue is said to have declined: the greater part of the Protestant officers of the army, alarmed by the removal of their brethren, sold their commissions for inadequate prices, and obtained military appointments in Holland, then the home of the exile and the refuge of the oppressed.† But that which Tyrconnel most pursued, and the Protestants most dreaded, was the repeal of the Act of Settlement. The new proprietors were not indeed, aware how much cause there was for their alarms. Tyrconnel boasted that he had secured the support of the Queen by the present of a pearl necklace worth 10,000l., which Prince Rupert had bequeathed to his mistress. In all extensive transfers of property not governed by rules of law, where both parties to a corrupt transaction have a great interest in concealment, and where there can seldom be any effective responsibility either judicial or moral, the suspicion of bribery must be incurred, and the temptation itself must often prevail. Tyrconnel asked Sheridan, his secretary, whether he did not think the Irish would give 50,000l. for the repeal of the Act of Settlement:—“Certainly,” said Sheridan, “since the new interest paid three times that sum to the Duke of Ormonde for passing it.” Tyrconnel then authorised Sheridan to offer to Lord Sunderland 50,000l. in money, or 5000l. a-year in land for the repeal. Sunderland preferred the 50,000l.; but with what seriousness of purpose cannot be ascertained, for the repeal was not adopted, and the money was never paid;* and he seems to have continued to thwart and traverse a measure which he did not dare openly to resist. The absolute abrogation of laws under which so much property was held seemed to be beset with such difficulty, that in the autumn of the following year Tyrconnel, on his visit to England, proposed a more modified measure, aimed only at affording a partial relief to the ancient proprietors. In the temper which then prevailed, a partial measure produced almost as much alarm as one more comprehensive, and was thought to be intended to pave the way for total resumption. The danger consisted in inquiry: the object of apprehension was any proceeding which brought this species of legal possession into question; and the proprietors dreaded the approach even of discussion to their invidious and originally iniquitous titles. It would be hard to expect that James should abstain from relieving his friends lest he might disturb the secure enjoyment of his enemies. Motives of policy, however, and some apprehensions of too sudden a shock to the feelings of Protestants in Great Britain, retarded the final adoption of this measure. It could only be carried into effect by the Parliament of Ireland; and it was not thought wise to call it together till every part of the internal policy of the kingdom which could influence the elections of that assembly should be completed. Probably, however, the delay principally arose from daring projects of separation and independence, which were entertained by Tyrconnel; and of which a short statement (in its most important parts hitherto unknown to the public) will conclude the account of his administration.
In the year 1666, towards the close of the first Dutch war, Louis XIV. had made preparations for invading Ireland with an army of twenty thousand men, under the Duc de Beaufort,—assured by the Irish ecclesiastics, that he would be joined by the Catholics, then more than usually incensed by the confirmation of the Act of Settlement, and by the English statutes against the importation of the produce of Ireland. To this plot, (which was discovered by the Queen-Mother at Paris, and by her disclosed to Charles II.,) it is not probable that so active a leader as Tyrconnel could have been a stranger.* We are informed by his secretary, that, during his visits to England in 1686, he made no scruple to avow projects of the like nature, when, after some remarks on the King’s declining age, and on the improbability that the Queen’s children, if ever she had any, should live beyond infancy, he declared, “that the Irish would be fools or madmen if they submitted to be governed by the Prince of Orange, or by Hyde’s grand-daughters; that they ought rather to take that opportunity of resolving no longer to be the slaves of England, but to set up a king of their own under the protection of France, which he was sure would be readily granted;” and added that “nothing could be more advantageous to Ireland or ruinous to England.”† His reliance on French support was probably founded on the general policy of Louis XIV., on his conduct towards Ireland in 1666, and, perhaps, on information from Catholic ecclesiastics in France; but he was not long content with these grounds of assurance. During his residence in England in the autumn of 1687, he had recourse to decisive and audacious measures for ascertaining how far he might rely on foreign aid in the execution of his ambitious schemes. A friend of his at Court (whose name is concealed, but who probably was either Henry Jermyn or Father Petre) applied on his behalf to Bonrepos (then employed by the Court of Versailles in London, on a special mission,)‡ expressing his desire, in case of the death of James II., to take measures to prevent Ireland from falling under the domination of the Prince of Orange, and to place that country under the protection of the Most Christian King. Tyrconnel expressed his desire that Bonrepos would go to Chester for the sake of a full discussion of this important proposition; but the wary minister declined a step which should have amounted to the opening of a negotiation, until he had authority from his Government. He promised, however, to keep the secret, especially from Barillon, who it was feared would betray it to Sunderland, then avowedly distrusted by the Lord Deputy. Bonrepos, in communicating this proposition to his Court, adds, that he very certainly knew the King of England’s intention to be to deprive his presumptive heir of Ireland, to make that country an asylum for all his Catholic subjects, and to complete his measures on that subject in the course of five years,—a time which Tyrconnel thought much too long, and earnestly besought the King to abridge; and that the Prince of Orange certainly apprehended such designs. James himself told the Nuncio that one of the objects of the extraordinary mission of Dykveldt was the affair of Ireland, happily begun by Tyrconnel;* and the same prelate was afterwards informed by Sunderland, that Dykveldt had expressed a fear of some general designs against the succession of the Prince and Princess of Orange.† Bonrepos was speedily instructed to inform Tyrconnel, that if on the death of James he could maintain himself in Ireland, he might rely on effectual aid from Louis to preserve the Catholic religion, and to separate that country from England, when under the dominion of a Protestant sovereign.‡ Tyrconnel is said to have agreed, without the knowledge of his own master, to put four Irish sea-ports, Kinsale, Waterford, Limerick, and either Galway or Coleraine, into the hands of France.§ The remaining particulars of this bold and hazardous negotiation were reserved by Bonrepos till his return to Paris; but he closes his last despatch with the singular intimation that several Scotch lords had sounded him on the succour they might expect from France, on the death of James, to exclude the Prince and Princess of Orange from the throne of Scotland. Objects so far beyond the usual aim of ambition, and means so much at variance with prudence as well as duty, could hardly have presented themselves to any mind whose native violence had not been inflamed by an education in the school of conspiracy and insurrection;—nor even to such but in a country which, from the division of its inhabitants, and the impolicy of its administration, had constantly stood on the brink of the most violent revolutions; where quiet seldom subsisted long but as the bitter fruit of terrible examples of cruelty and rapine; and where the majority of the people easily listened to offers of foreign aid against a government which they considered as the most hostile of foreigners.
[† ] Hume, History of England, chap. lxix.
[‡ ] His son had married the niece of Lady Rochester.
[§ ] Hume, chap. lxx.
[∥ ] Acts of Parliament, vol. viii. p. 459.
[* ] Fountainhall, Chronicle, vol. i. p. 366.
[† ] Warrant, 1st June, 1685.—State Paper Office.
[‡ ] Warrant, 7th Dec.—Ibid.
[§ ] Fountainhall, vol. i. p. 189.
[∥ ] Ibid. p. 390.
[* ] 4th March, 1686.—State Paper Office.
[† ] 18th March.—Ibid.
[* ] Fountainhall, vol. i. p. 410.
[† ] Barillon, 22d April.—Fox MSS.
[‡ ] Id. 29th April.—Ibid.
[§ ] Acts of Parliament, vol. viii. p. 580.
[* ] Fountainhall, vol. i. p. 413.
[† ] Wodrow, History of the Church of Scotland, &c., vol. ii. p. 498:—an avowed partisan, but a most sincere and honest writer, to whom great thanks are due for having preserved that collection of facts and documents which will for ever render it impossible to extenuate the tyranny exercised over Scotland from the Restoration to the Revolution.
[* ] Wodrow, vol. ii. p. 594.
[† ] Fountainhall, vol. i. p. 415.
[‡ ] Wodrow, vol. ii. app.
[§ ] Ibid. Wodrow ascribes the Court pamphlet to Sir Roger L’Estrange, in which he is followed by Mr. Laing, though, in answer to it, it is said to have been written by a clergyman who had preached before the Parliament. L’Estrange was then in Edinburgh, probably engaged in some more popular controversy. The tract in question seems more likely to have been written by Paterson, Bishop of Edinburgh.
[* ] Wodrow, vol. ii. app.
[† ] 1669.
[‡ ] The Earl of Glencairn and Sir W. Bruce.
[* ] “Sir George Mackenzie was the grandson of Kenneth, first Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, and the nephew of Colin and George, first and second Earls of Seaforth. He was born at Dundee in 1636, and after passing through the usual course of education in his own country, he was sent for three years to the University of Bourges, at that time, as he tells us, called the ‘Athens of Lawyers;’—as in later times the Scotch lawyers usually repaired to Utrecht and Leyden. He was called to the Bar, and began to practise before the Restoration; immediately after which he was appointed one of the justices-depute—criminal judges, who exercised that jurisdiction which was soon after vested in five lords of session under the denomination of ‘commissioners of justiciary.’ His name appears in the Parliamentary proceedings as counsel in almost every important cause. He represented the county of Ross for the four sessions of the Parliament which was called in 1669. In 1677 he was appointed Lord Advocate; and was involved by that preferment, most unhappily for his character, in the worst acts of the Scotch administration of Charles II. At the Revolution he adhered to the fortunes of his master. Being elected a member of the Convention, he maintained the pretensions of James with courage and ability against Sir John Dalrymple and Sir James Montgomery, who were the most considerable of the Revolutionary party; and remaining in his place after the imprisonment of Balcarras and the escape of Dundee, he was one of the minority of five in the memorable division on the forfeiture of the crown. When the death of Dundee destroyed the hopes of his party in Scotland, he took refuge at Oxford,—the natural asylum of so learned and inveterate a Tory. Under the tolerant government of William he appears to have enjoyed his ample fortune,—the fruit of his professional labours,—with perfect comfort as well as security. He died in St. James’ Street in May, 1691; and his death is mentioned as that of an extraordinary person by several of those who recorded the events of their time, before the necrology of this country was so undistinguishing as it has now become. The pomp and splendour of his interment at Edinburgh affords farther evidence how little the administration of William was disposed to discourage the funeral honours paid to his most inflexible opponents. The writings of Sir George Mackenzie are literary, legal, and political. His Miscellaneous Essays, both in prose and verse, may now be dispensed with, or laid aside, without difficulty. They have not vigour enough for long life. But if they be considered as the elegant amusements of a statesman and lawyer, who had little leisure for the cultivation of letters, they afford a striking proof of the variety of his accomplishments, and of the refinement of his taste. In several of his Moral Essays, both the subject and the manner betray an imitation of Cowley, who was at that moment beginning the reformation of English style. Sir George Mackenzie was probably tempted, by the example of this great master, to write in praise of Solitude: and Evelyn answered by a panegyric on Active life. It seems singular that Mackenzie, plunged in the harshest labours of ambition, should be the advocate of retirement; and that Evelyn, comparatively a recluse, should have commended that mode of life which he did not choose. Both works were, however, rhetorical exercises, in which a puerile ingenuity was employed on questions which admitted no answer, and were not therefore the subject of sincere opinion. Before we can decide whether a retired or a public life be best, we must ask,—best for whom? The absurdity of these childish generalities, which exercised the wit of our forefathers, has indeed been long acknowledged. Perhaps posterity may discover, that many political questions which agitate our times are precisely of the same nature; and that it would be almost as absurd to attempt the establishment of a democracy in China as the foundation of a nobility in Connecticut.”—Abridged from the “Edinburgh Review,” vol. xxxvi. p. 1.—Ed.
[* ] Fountainhall, vol. i. p. 414.
[† ] Ibid. p. 419.
[‡ ] Among the frivolous but characteristic transactions of this session was the “Bore Brieve,” or authenticated pedigree granted to the Marquis de Seignelai, as a supposed descendant of the ancient family of Cuthbert of Castlehill, in Invernessshire. His father, the great Colbert, who appears to have been the son of a reputable woollen-draper of Troyes, had attempted to obtain the same certificate of genealogy, but such was the pride of birth at that time in Scotland, that his attempts were vain. It now required all the influence of the Court, set in motion by the solicitations of Barillon, to obtain it for Seignelai. By an elaborate display of all the collateral relations of the Cuthberts, the “Bore Brieve” connects Seignelai with the Royal Family, and with all the nobility and gentry of the kingdom.—Acts of Parliament, vol. iii. p. 611.
[§ ] Fountainhall, vol. i. p. 419.
[∥ ] Ibid. p. 416.
[* ] Fountainhall, vol i. p. 441. Skinner, Ecclesiastical History, vol. ii. p. 503.
[† ] Ibid. p. 420.
[‡ ] Barillon, 1st—22d July, 1686.—Fox MSS. It will appear in the sequel, that these suspicions are at variance with probability, and unsupported by evidence.
[§ ] Wodrow, vol. ii. p. 598.
[∥ ] Fountainhall, vol. i. p. 424.
[* ] Fountainhall, vol. i. p. 449—451. Letter (in State Paper Office,) 1st March, 1687, expressing the King’s displeasure at the conduct of Hamilton, and directing the names of his sons-in-law, Panmure and Dunmore, to be struck out of the list of the Council.
[† ] Warrants in the State Paper Office, dated 19th May, 1687.
[‡ ] Ibid. 15th August.
[§ ] Ibid. 7th January, 1688.
[* ] The means by which Talbot obtained the favour of James, if we may believe the accounts of his enemies, were somewhat singular. “Clarendon’s daughter had been got with child in Flanders, on a pretended promise of marriage, by the Duke of York, who was forced by the King, at her father’s importunity, to marry her, after he had resolved the contrary, and got her reputation blasted by Lord Fitzharding and Colonel Talbot, who impudently affirmed that they had received the last favours from her.”—Sheridan MS. Stuart Papers. “5th July 1694. Sir E. Harley told us, that when the Duke of York resolved on putting away his first wife, particularly on discovery of her commerce with—, she by her father’s advice turned Roman Catholic, and thereby secured herself from reproach, and that the pretence of her father’s opposition to it was only to act a part, and secure himself from blame.”—MSS. in the handwriting of Lord Treasurer Oxford, in the possession of the Duke of Portland. The latter of these passages from the concluding part must refer to the time of the marriage. But it must not be forgotten that both the reporters were the enemies of Clarendon, and that Sheridan was the bitter enemy of Tyrconnel.
[† ] Clarendon, Continuation of History (Oxford, 1759), p. 362.
[‡ ] Sheridan MS. Stuart Papers.
[* ] Clarendon’s Letters, passim.
[† ] Sir J. Davies, Discoverie, &c., pp. 102—112. “They were so far out of the protection of the laws that it was often adjudged no felony to kill a mere Irishman in time of peace,”—except he were of the five privileged tribes of the O’Neils of Ulster, the O’Malaghlins of Meath, the O’Connors of Connaught, the O’Briens of Thomond, and the MacMurroughs of Leinster; to whom are to be added the Oastmen of the city of Waterford.—See also Leland, History of Ireland, book i. chap. 3.
[‡ ] 28 Hen. VIII. c. 13. “The English,” says Sir W. Petty, “before Henry VII.’s time, lived in Ireland as the Europeans do in America.”—Political Anatomy of Ireland, p. 112.
[§ ] That the hostility of religion was, however, a secondary prejudice superinduced on hostility between nations, appears very clearly from the laws of Catholic sovereigns against the Irish, even after the Reformation, particularly the Irish statute of 3 & 4 Phil. & Mar. c. 2, against the O’Mores, and O’Dempsies, and O’Connors, “and others of the Irishry.”
[* ] See Carte’s Life of Ormonde, and the confessions of Clarendon, together with the evidence on the Trial of Strafford.
[† ] Evidence of this exaggeration is to be found in Carte and Leland, in the Political Anatomy of Ireland, by Sir W. Petty,—to say nothing of Curry’s Civil Wars, which, though the work of an Irish Catholic, deserves the serious consideration of every historical inquirer. Sir W. Petty limits the number of Protestants killed throughout the island, in the first year of the war, to thirty-seven thousand. The massacres were confined to Ulster, and in that province were imputed only to the detachment of insurgents under Sir Phelim O’Neal.
[‡ ] Even Milton calls the Irish Catholics, or, in other words, the Irish nation, “Conscelerata et barbara colluvies.”
[* ] Petty, pp. 1—3.
[† ] Life of Clarendon (Oxford, 1759), vol. ii. p. 115.
[‡ ] Carte, Life of Ormonde, vol. ii. p. 295. Talbot, afterwards Earl of Tyrconnel, returned to Ireland with 18,000l.
[* ] Petty, p. 8.—As Sir William Petty exaggerates the population of England, which he rates at six millions, considerably more than its amount in 1700 (Population Returns, 1821, Introduction), it is probable he may have overrated that of Ireland; but there is no reason to suspect a mistake in the proportions.
[† ] Supposing the taxes then paid by England and Wales to have been about three millions, each inhabitant contributed ten shillings, while each Irishman paid somewhat more than five.
[* ] Petty, p. 24.
[† ] Ibid.
[‡ ] Correspondence of Clarendon and Rochester, vol. ii. Clarendon, Diary, 5th—14th June, 1686.
[* ] Sheridan MS.
[† ] Sheridan MS. It should be observed, that the passages relating to Ireland in the Life of James II., vol. ii. pp. 59—63, were not written by the King, and do not even profess to be founded on the authority of his MSS. They are merely a statement made by Mr. Dicconson, the compiler of that work.
[‡ ] Clarendon, 20th—31st July.
[§ ] Ibid. 19th June.
[∥ ] Ibid. 8th June.
[* ] Clarendon, 20th July.
[† ] Ibid. 30th July.
[‡ ] Ibid. 6th Oct.
[§ ] Clarendon to the King, 6th Oct.; to Lord Rochester, 23d Oct.
[* ] London Gazette. All these particulars are to be found in Sheridan’s MS. It is but fair to add that, in a few months after Sheridan accompanied Tyrconnel to Ireland, they became violent enemies.
[† ] D’Adda, 15th Nov. 1687.—MS.
[* ] Our accounts of Tyrconnel’s Irish administration before the Revolution are peculiarly imperfect and suspicious. King, afterwards Archbishop of Dublin, whose State of the Protestants has been usually quoted as authority, was the most zealous of Irish Protestants, and his ingenious antagonist, Leslie, was the most inflexible of Jacobites. Though both were men of great abilities, their attention was so much occupied in personalities and in the discussion of controverted opinions, that they have done little to elucidate matters of fact. Clarendon and Sheridan’s MS. agree so exactly in their picture of Tyrconnel, and have such an air of truth in their accounts of him, that it is not easy to refuse them credit, though they were both his enemies.
[† ] “The Earl of Donegal,” says Sheridan, “sold for 600 guineas a troop of horse which, two years before, cost him 1800 guineas.”—Sheridan MS.
[* ] Sheridan MS.
[* ] There are obscure intimations of this intended invasion in Carte, Life of Ormonde, vol. ii. p. 328. The resolutions of the Parliament of Ireland concerning it are to be found in the Gazette, 25th—28th December, 1665. Louis XIV. himself tells us, that he had a correspondence with those whom he calls the “remains of Cromwell” in England, and “with the Irish Catholics, who, always discontented with their condition, seem ever ready to join any enterprise which may render it more supportable.”—Oeuvres de Louis XIV., vol. ii. p. 203. Sheridan’s MS. contains more particulars. It is supported by the printed authorities as far as they go; and being written at St. Germains, probably differed little in matters of fact from the received statements of the Jacobite exiles.
[† ] Sheridan MS.
[‡ ] Bonrepos to Seignelai, 4th Sept. 1687.—For MSS.
[* ] D’Adda, 7th Feb. 1687.—MS.
[† ] Id. 20th June.
[‡ ] Seignelai to Bonrepos, 29th Sept.—Fox MSS.
[§ ] Sheridan MS.