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2] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1786.
to England. Business opened in the house of commons there by Mr. Pilt ; bis speech. Propofitions minutely investigated. Ten new propofitions added. Propofitions pafjed. Very Atrongly opposed in the house of lords ; pased. Bill thereupon. Propofitions transmitted to Ireland ; their reception there. Bill moved for, correspondent to that in England; debates thereupon. Speeches of Mr. Grattan and Mr. Flood. Bill brought in; ordered to be printed. Further prosecution of the measure declined. Mr. Orde's speech on the occasion. -Intended emigration of the Genevese to Ireland. Reception of their commisfsoners there. Disagreement between the parties. Scheme proves abortive.
TE have already seen, that kingdom of Ireland.-It has always
by several acts of parlia. been questioned, whether any con
ment which passed in the siderable part of the people of Engyear 1780, the commerce of Ire- land, however unpopular the house land was freed from those ruinous of commons may at times have renrestrictions with which it had been dered itself to the nation, was at all long shackled, through the fhort. , dissatisfied with the established mode fighted policy and narrow prejudices of representation, or expected any of the British nation.
effectual relief from the more fre. In the year 1982, the declaratory quent return of elections. act of George the Second was re In Ireland, these projects of refor. pealed; and by another statute, mation certainly met with a much which paffed in the following year, more general reception-a circumthe authority of the British parlia-' ftance not difficult to be accounted ment, in all matters both of legila. for, when we consider the ferment tion and jurisdiction, were renoun- which then existed in that kingdom, ced, and the political independence and how favourable such moments of the kingdom of Ireland was co.n are to every species of political inpleatly established.
novation. The only object therefore that In the year 1779, the parliament remained for the consideration of of Ireland, in their addresies to the the respective governments of each throne, had in firm and manly lancountry, was the settlement of a guage demanded the restoration of system of commercial intercourse their commercial freedom. In orbetwixt the two kingdoms upon a der to give effect to this requisition, firm and permanent basis.
resolutions were entered into by the Before we enter upon this part of inhabitants of the trading towns to our history, it may be necessary to prevent the importation of British take a short retrospective view of the manufactures ; and these resolutions internal state of affairs in that coun were often enforced with a degree try:
of violence and outrage, which the The spirit of reforming the con- civil authority of the country was ftitution, by Ahortening the duration unable to restrain. This vigorous of parliaments, and establishing a and determined spirit of the people more equal representation of the peo- had a forcible effect upon the deple, which broke out in Great Bri, liberations of parliament; all new tain about the year 1779, passed supplies for the current services of over at the same period into the the executive government were de
nied, and the trust of the old reve. a stand; and this, as well as a mo. nue, which had usually been voted tion made to obtain a modification for two years, was reitricted to fix of Poyning's law, was rejected by a months. A mutiny bill was also large majority. passed for the king's army in Ire The failure of these efforts of the land, which before had always been minority in parliament, appears to regulated under the authority of an have given occafion to the first meetact of the British legislature. --These ing of the volunteers on the subject of vigorous measures, as we have al. parliamentary reform. Dec. 28th, ready seen in the transactions of the On the 28th of Decemyear 1780, produced their intended ber, 1781, the officers effect, and led to fill more impor- of one of the Ulfter regiments came tant consequences.
to an unanimous resolution, “ That The pailing of the mutiny bill “ to restore the constitution to its was a ftep that went in its principle “ original purity, the most vigorous so evidently and so directly to the " and effcctual methods should be acknowledgment of the indepen pursued to root corruption and dence of the kingdom of Ireland, court influence out of the legilathat it is not easy to conceive how “ tive body:” and with this view it came to meet with so little oppo- a meeting of delegates from the sesition from adminiftration, or to re veral regiments of the province was ceive so readily the sanction of the convened at Dungannon on the 15th British cabinet, unless we suppose of February following. that the circumstance of its being On that day the representatives of made perpetual had rendered it ac 143 corps of volunteer troops assemceptable to government. But in bled. Their resolutions, which were Ireland, where one great constitu. adopted in substance by all the votional principle appears to have been lunteers of the southern provinces, sacrificed merely for the purpose of were confined for the most part to establishing another, it was easy to the assertion of the political indeforesee that they would not long pendence of the kingdom.- This submit to a restriction which ren- primary object being soon after efta. dered the advantage they had ob- blished, by solemn acts of the le. tained not only not useful, but dan. gillature of both nations, the argerous to their conftitution.
dour for parliamentary reformations Accordingly in the follo:ving fef- appeared for a while to have almost fion an attempt was made to get entirely subsided*. rid of the obnoxious part of the bill, The existence and increase of the by repealing the clause of perpe. volunteer army, after the necessity tuity. But here government made which first gave rise to it had been
superceded • During the course of this, the Irish parliament passed the following acts, for the purpose of giving effect to their new constitution :
An act to empower the lord lieutenant, or other chief governor or governors, and council of this kingdom, for the time being, to certify all such bills, and none other, as both houses of parliament shall judge expedient to be enacted in this kingdom, to his majesty, his heirs and fucceffors, under the great seal of Ireland, without addition, diminution, or alteration. All such bills, thus transmitted, and
superceded by the establishment of advice on fo great and momentous
government. was held at Dungannon. A plan of
freehold or leasehold, for 31 years or Delegates are assembled from the upwards, of the value of forty thilseveral corps of the several provin. lings a year; that in decayed boces; committees of correspondence roughs, where the number of voters are appointed ; and letters * are dis should be less than two hundred in patched to the most celebrated polj- the province of Ulster, one hundred tical speculators, or parliamentary in Munfter and Connaught, and sereformers in Great Britain, for their venty in the province of Leinster, returned under the great feal of Great Britain, without addition, diminution, or alteration, and none other, to pass in the parliament of this kingdom. No bill necessary to be certified into Great Britain as a cause or confideration for holding a parliament in Ireland.
An act to limit the mutiny act to two years, and to repeal the other obnoxious parts of the late statute.
An act providing that from henceforth all erroncous judgments, orders, and decrees, shall be finally examined and reformed in the high court of parliament of this kingdom caly; and that for this purpose the lord lieutenant, or other chief governor or governors, shall and may grant warrants for fealing writs of error returnable into parliament.
An habeas corpus law, and one for rendering the judges independent of the crowd, were also enacted.
* These letters were addressed 20 the Duke of Richmond, the Earl of Effinghun, Mr. William Pitt, Mr. Wyvil, ivia on Cartwright, Dr. Price, and Dr. John Jebo.
the neighbouring parishes should be « assure him of their determination admitted to a right of voting; and" to support the present confitulastly, that the duration of parlia. ”tion with their lives and forments should be limited to chree • tunes.” The address being sent years.
up to the House of Lords, received Mr. Flood undertook to bring their concurrence. forward the discussion of these topics On the report of these measures in the House of Commons
and to the convention by Mr. Flood, it accordingly, the day following, he was agreed, that a counter-address moved for leave to bring in a bill should be presented to the king, in “ for the more equal representation the name of the delegates of all “ of the people in parliament.” the volunteers of Ireland,“ to imThe motion was received by a great plore his majesty, that their hummajority of the house with the “ ble wish to have certain manifest strongest marks of disapprobation. “ perversions in the parliamentary Without entering into the considera. representation of that kingdom tion of the wisdom or folly of the “ remedied, might not be imputed plan proposed, it was urged that the “ to any spirit of innovation, but house could not pollibiy, without “ to a sober and laudable desire to betraying its trust, and abdicating“ uphold the constitution, to conits authority, consent to receive “ firm the satisfaction of their fel. propofitions tendered to them at the “ low-fubjccts, and perpetuate the point of the bayonet, by a body of “ cordial union of the two na: armed men. That however respect. “tions." able they might be in other points The change which soon afterwards of view, yet to suffer them to beset took place in the administration of the house of parliament, and to both kingdoms, gave fresh spirits dictate to the legislature with arms to the friends of reformation. It in their hands, would be to eta was not unreasonably expected that blish a precedent subversive of the the weight of government would very existence of all order and go now be thrown into their scale, as vernment.
the first minister in England, and The motion being rejected by a the first minister in Ireland *, had majority of 157 to 77, the house been among the most eager and loud
to a resolution, which was in support of the same meafures in moved by Mr. Yelverton, the at- Great Britain. But notwithitandtorney general, “ That it was now ing these flattering appearances, “ necefiary to declare, that the, they were doomed to experience a “ house would support the rights second disappointment. “ and privileges of parliament a. On the 13th of “ gainit all encroachments.” An March 1784, Mr.
Mr. Pitt, and the Duke of Rutland.
keeping the volunteers out of view; “ rejected ; that his majesty had the bill was allowed to be brought “ lately thought it neceffary to apin, but, on the second reading, it “ peal to the electors of Great Briwas rejected by nearly the same “ tain against the power of an arismajority as before.
“ tocracy ; that on that occasion These repeated defeats did not “ but one. fourth of the people of abate the ardour of the Irish re “ England exclaimed againft their formers in the pursuit of their fa “ House of Commons, and the sovourite object; but as all hope of “ vereign prudently dissolved a parobtaining the deliberate co-opera “ liament which had lost-the confition of parliament was at an end, “ dence of a quarter of the nathey turned their applications to “ tion, and declared his readiness a quarter from whence experience “ to adopt whatever he should colhad already taught them to look for " lect to be the sense of his people ; more effectual exertions; as go “ and that they therefore looked vernment had not yet ventured to up to him with the utmost confi. question the legality of the volun- “dence for the immediate diffoluteer associations, the people at large “ tion of the parliament of Irewere called upon to provide them “ Jand, in compliance with the alselves with arms, and to array “ most unanimous' request of his themselves under that description. loyal subjects of that kingdom." Several unpopular acts of the new In the address, the complicated government, in some of which par: hardships they had suffered from the liament was also involved by the abuse of power were detailed with share it had in them, served greatly great warmth and freedom; the to increase the general discontent continuance of these fufferings they of the nation.
attribute to the defects of their re: On the 7th day of presentation in parliament ; and June 7th.
June a meeting was they appeal to experience for the held of the aggregate body of the inefficacy of every means they had citizens of Dublin.' It was here employed to obtain redress. They resolved to present another petition therefore call upon and conjure their to the king, and in the mean time fellow- subjects to unite with them to endeavour, by a circular address, in the pursuit of some more efficato stimulate the body of the people cious plan for the removal of the to a general and vigorous exer- general calamity; and with this tion.
view they propose that five persons The petition, after enumerating should be elected from each county, their several grievances, and la- city, and confiderable town, to menting that his majesty's admini- meet in Dublin in national constration should have taken an active gress. part in all the measures of which But the moft remarkable feature they complained, ftates, “That this in this address was, a proposition to “ was a circumstance the more ex- admit the Roman catholic subjects
traordinary, as the first minister of that kingdom to a participation “ of England had virtuously de- in the rights of fuffrage at the " clared himself in favour of the election of members of parliament. “ principal measure which had been Though this measure was not only