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confonant to the general principles When the business of equal re. of the reform they meditated, but presentation began to be agitated, promised no small accession of strength the case of the Roman catholics was to the common cause, yet the lin- again brought forward, and the decerity of the Irish protestants on legates of the meeting at Dungan, this point, farther than as it served non, in the year 1783, were in. the present turn, has been much structed to consider of the best plan doubted.
of admitting them to an equal para In a former volume we had oc. ticipation in the benefits of the casion to remark, as one of the projected reformation. At the subconsequences of the general cala- lequent meeting of the convention mity in which the late war had in- in Dublin, when that subject was volved the country of Ireland, that proposed for their consideration, a the prejudices entertained against pretended letter was produced from the papists in that kingdom appear the Earl of Kenmare, purporting to ed, in fome degree, to be giving convey the general sentiments of way to more liberal, wise, and equi. the Roman catholics of Ireland, in table sentiments. The volunteers, which they were made to express at a very early period, expressed their perfect fatisfaction with what their abhorrence of the unjust and had been already done for them, impolitic treatment of so great a and that they desired no more than majority of their fellow-subjects ; peaceably to enjoy the privileges they recommended their cause to they had obtained.
But though the attention of the legislature, and, this letter was publicly disavowed, in some counties, even inviced them both by the respectable person from to range themselves under the same whom it was said to have come, banners in the field. But the great and by a general assembly of the political objects then in view being committee of the Irish catholics, obtained, no other relief was grant- who acknowledged themselves to ed to the catholics, than the repeal have too great a resemblance to the of a few of the most cruel and op- rest of their species to be defirous preffive clauses in the laws enacted of opposing any thing that tended against them
to their relief, and that they should * By an act passed in 1778, Roman catholics were empowered to take leases for any term of years, not exceeding nine hundred and ninety-nine, or for any term of years determinable on any number of lives, not exceeding five. They were now enabled to purchase or take by grant, limitation, descent, or devise, any lands, tenements, or hereditaments, in this kingdom, with certain exceptions, and to dispose of them by will or otherwise ; to descend according to the course of common law, devisable and transferable in like manner as the lands of protestants. By the same law, certain penal acts respecting the hearing and the celebrating of mass; forbidding Roman catholics to keep a horse of or above the value of five pounds ; empowering grand juries to levy from them, in their respective districts, money to the amount of such losses as were sustained by the depredations of privateers ; requiring them to provide in towns protestant watchmen and forbid, ding them to inhabit the city of Limerick, or luburbs, were repealed;
So much of the former aćts as forbad them to teach school publicly, or to in. ftruet youth of their own profession in private, was also repealed ; and a law enacted to permit them to have the guardianship, the care, and the tuition of their own children,
receive any indulgence the legi But the cause of reform received lature should be willing to grant about this time a more fatal blow, them, yet, in the plan of reform from the disunion which broke out digefted at this meeting, they were amongst the volunteers themselves, left precisely in the same fituation ou the subject of admitting the Ro. as before.
man catholics to the rights of elecBut to return to the proceedings tion. In an address presented by of the citizens of Dublin.-An ap- the Ulster corps to their general, plication was made to the lord lieu- the Earl of Charlemont, after some tenant to convey their petition to strong expresiions of their detestation the throne. In answer to their re of aristocratic tyranny, they hint at queft, he informed them, that though the necessity of calling in the aid it was his duty to convey the pa- of the catholics, as the most just as pers they presented, yet he found well as effectual means of oppofing himself obliged to accompany them it with success. In answer to this with his entire disapprobation; as address, the Earl of Charlemont they contained unjust and indecent lamented that, for the first time, he reflections' upon the laws and the felt himself obliged to differ from parliament of Ireland, and as they them in sentiment. He was free from tended to foment fatal diffenfions every illiberal prejudice against the among the people.
catholics, and full of good will toThe credulity of the Irish re- wards that very respectable body; formers was proof against all dif- but he could not refrain from the approbation. They could not be most ardent entreaties that they persuaded, but that the English mi- would defist from a pursuit that nifter would heartily concur in the would fatally clog and impede the support of measures founded on prosecution of their favourite purprinciples which he had himself to pole. often and so ostentatiously avowed. As this nobleman was very highly July 8th. Accordingly, on the 8th and very deservedly respected by
of July, a petition to the whole nation, his opinion was the king was conveyed to Mr. Pitt, eagerly embraced, both by the timid, by the inhabitants of Belfast, nearly whose apprehensions were alarmed of the same tenor with that of the by the boldness and extent of the citizens of Dublin. In the month project, and by a great number of September, Mr. Pitt informed whose prejudices against the cathothem, in his answer, “ That he had lics appear rather to have been dis
undoubtedly been, and still con sembled than cured. In the month si tinued, a zealous friend to a re of October, the thanks of the cor“ form in parliament, but that he poration of the city of Dublin was “ muft beg leave to fay, that he voted þim for his conduct on this " had been fo on grounds very dif- occafion. “ ferent from those adopted in their The meeting of a national con.
pétition. That what was there grefs, was a measure of too alarming
proposed, he considered as tend- a nature, not to attract the most fe“ing to produce ftill greater evils rious attention of government; and "than any of those which the it appears to have been their reso
friends of reform, were defirous lution to take the most vigorou “ to remedy."
fteps for preventing it if possible.
A few days previous' to that which fembly, and the resolutions they
But government, having once set gan to form of the delegates themtheir faces against the election and felves, whom they looked upon in affembling of delegates, pursued a fome measure as a new order rising mode of conduct that had sufficient up in the state, 'might induce them of resolution in it at leaft. From to acquiesce in, if not to approve denouncing threats, they proceeded of, an extraordinary and unusual to actual punishments.
mode of proceeding on this occa· Henry Stephens Reiley, Esq. high fion. Theriff for the county of Dublin, in But government did not confine consequence of his having called their profecutions to Mr. Reiley.---' together and presided at an assem- Having once adopted a mode of bly of freeholders, who met on the proceeding, which so effeétually anAug. 19th. 19th of August 1784, swered the end for which they de. :
for the purpose of signed it, informations were moved choofing and instructing their dele-' for, and attachments granted against gates, was the first object of minis- the different magistrates who called terial prosecution on this occafion. the meetings, and figned the reThe attorney-general proceeded a- spective resolutions of the freegainst him by attachment from the holders in the counties of Roscom. court of King's - Bench. The af- mon and Leitrim. At the same? 9
time, the press too came under the open as posible to the confideration lath of the attorney-general; and of parliament. After several adthe printers and publishers of such journments, they held their final news-papers as had inserted the ob- meeting on the 201h noxious resolutions, suffered with of April ; and on the
April 20th. she magiftrates who had figued 12th of May, the bill them.
which Mr. Flood had May 12th. Notwithstanding these violent again broughtin, in pursuance of their measures which adminįstration were common object, was again rejected, pursuing, the national congress met, During the course of the propursuant to its appointment, on the ceedings relative to parliamentary OX. 25th.' But as it was far from tereits of a more pressing and im
25th day of October. and constitutional reformation, in being compleat in point of number, portant nature frequently divided and several of its most respectable the attention of the people, and members chose to absent themselves, were pursued with a more intenthey adjourned, after having paffed perate degree of zeal and violence. a number of resolutions to the same It should seem as if the manufac, purport with those which had been turers of Ireland had conceived an agreed to at the previous meeting ; opinion, that the restitution of comand exhorted, in the most earnest mercial freedom would operate like manner, the communities which a charm, and diffuse in an instans had not sent representatives, if they that general prosperity over the narespected their own consistency, if tion, whịch could only be the effect they wished for the success of a par- of a long course of frugal, attenliamentary reform, and as they ten, tive, and perfevering industry. The dered the perpetual liberty and fallacy of these fanguine expectaprosperity of their country, not to tions was soon apparent ; and the let pass this opportunity of effect- evil, if not partly caused, was ing the great and necessary confir- greatly aggravated by the idleness mation of the constitution.
of the lowest class of people, and At their second meeting, which that neglect of their proper occue
was held on the ad of pations of the better fort, which January 2d,
January 1785, the re was the consequence of the general 1785
presentatives of twen- disposition to political speculations. ty-seven counties, and of most of Towards the end of the year che cities and considerable towns 1783, the distresses of the manuof the kingdom, amounting in the facturers of Dublin had arisen to whole to upwards of two hundred such a height, as for a short time persons, assembled. Their proceed to supersede all laws, and to reduce ings appear to have been of the the city to a state of anarchy and fame nature as those they had be- confusion ; as a temporary remedy fore adopted, with only this differ- to this mischief, subscriptions were ence, that in the proposed applica- set on foot for their relief, which tion to the House of Commons, it were very liberally supported, and was agreed to confine themselves to in the mean time a committee was the most general terms, and to leave appointed by the House of Comthe mode of redress as free and mons to take into consideration the
" That a
flate pf the manufactures of the vagant price, but all incitement to kingdom. Mr. Gardener, who took emulation being remoyed, they had. the lead in that business, passed declined in their quality to the over into England, in order to con- lowest extreme.-The second was, fult with the king's ministers on the to encouragę by bounties the exalarming exigence of affairs; but, port trade. But this, he thought, as should appear from the event, was beginning at the wrong end, without being able to agree with Foreign trade could only be secured them on the adoption of any specific by the excellence of the manufacmeasures.
tures, and that, he contended, could On the 31st of March 1784, the only be obtained in the gradual house took into consideration the progress of a home consumption. report of the committee; on which There then remained no other meaoccasion Mr. Gardener brought for- sure than that he now proposed," by ward a plan, for which the people which a preference only would be had for some time been extremely given to the native manufacture, clamorous, namely, that of prote&- 4 preference which, he believed, in ing duties of protecting their own all other commercial countries, was manufactures, and enforcing the uniformly secured. He therefore consumption of them at home, by concluded with moving, laying heavy duties on similar ma, “ duty of two shillings and fixnufactures imported from other pence per yard' be laid on all countries.
“ drapery imported into that kingAfter itating the nature and ex. “ dom." At the same time he de. tent of the distresses under which clared his intention of moving for the manufacturers laboured, Mr. proportionate duties on paper, maGardener adverted to the several nufactured iron, and a yariety of modes which had been proposed of other articles. affording them relief. The first In answer to these arguments it was to force the home consumption was urged, that the protecting duty, by non-importation agreements. - if made effectual, would necessarily This was a measure which, he said, produce all the consequences of nonwas not very likely to receive the importation. But what was chiefly fanction of the legislaturę, nor did insisted on was, that it could not be he think it adviseable in itself; the expected Great Britain would not reexpedient had been fully tried, as taliate, and that they might thereby far as voluntary compacts could run the risk of losing the linen trade, carry it, and had ßeen attended the value of which was a million with the most pernicious instead of and a half, for the uncertain prosbeneficial effects ; not to mention pect of encreasing the woolen, which the outrageous exceffes into which the did not exceed 50,000l. The querpeople had been led in the enforc- tion being at length put on Mr. ing these agreements, it still left it Gardener's motion, it was rejected in the power of the interested and by a majority of 110 to 36. avaricious to draw additional pro The rejection of Mr. Gardener's fits from the distresses of the coun- propositions caused a violent fermen. try. The home manufactures were tation amongst the people. On the not only vended at the most extra- Monday following an outrageous