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expiration of every leafe, the farm is put up to auction, and without confidering whether he be Proteftant or Papift, whether he be induftrious or indolent, whether he be folvent or a beggar, the highest bidder is declared the tenant by the law-, agent of the eftate-I muft fay to the difgrace of the landlord, and moft frequently much to his advantage. It happened to me in the year 1783, to convafs the county in which I live, and on an eftate which had been newly fet at 26,000l. a year, as I recollect, I found but five proteftant tenants. But what are we to fay to the affertion which follows this charge against the landlords of Ireland? That many of his majesty's Catholic fubjects, to preserve their families from total deftruction, fubmit to a nominal conformity against their conviction and confcience, and preferring perjury to famine, take oaths which they utterly difbelieve. Let me here mark the character which thofe men give of that body of people who have committed their caufe to them;-They fay, that many of their body who have conformed, take oaths against their conviction and confciences; oaths which they utterly disbelieve. The oaths which a conformift takes are the oaths of fupremacy, allegiance, and abjuration. The firft we all know a Catholic can't take with a fafe confcience, because he is taught from his cradle, that the ecclefiaftical fupremacy of the crown is a prophane ufurpation upon the authority of the Pope, derived to him by divine commiflion. But I would afk, if on conformity, oaths are taken which a Catholic difbelieves, whether is it the oath of allegiance or the oath of abjuration which is against his conviction? By the firft he profeffes his allegiance to his majefty, by the fecond he difclaims all C allegiance

allegiance to the houfe of Stuart, and their title to the throne. I am myself fatisfied, that the Catholic fubjects of Ireland do heartily, willingly and truly take the oaths of allegiance and abjuration, and the charge made upon them by those who have undertaken the office of their friends and advocates, fhews plainly that by deviating from a ftraight line of truth in their zeal for a discovery of grievances, they have been betrayed into acts of great and unpardonable indifcretion. Their object feems to be not fo much to obtain a redress of any folid grievances which may prefs upon the perfons of the communion, as to mislead the people of another country, and to incite the Catholics of Ireland to difcontent and tumult; with which view it is, I must prefume, that they have been told, that the exifting government of this country has been in the habit of committing repeated violations of a folemn treaty, and that the Popery laws enacted here fince the revolution have been enacted in the direct breach of the articles of Limerick. But the popery laws enacted in this country have no more relation to the articles of Limerick than any other code in the ftatute book; first it feems to be a perfect new idea, that a general officer at the head of a victorious army, has any power to make a ftipulation with a rebellious garrifon for civil immunities for any of the king's fubjects, which ftipulation is to be binding not only on the exifting parliament of this country, if any did exist at the time, but on all future parliaments which fhould be elected. What the valuable confideration paid by the rebellious garrifon could have been, or how it could bind the legiflators of the country, I do not comprehend; and if any man can ferioufly entertain an opinion, that General Ginkle could by any capitulation which he made with the garrifon of Limerick, fecure to


the Catholics of Ireland civil immunities beyond the reach of the legislative power of the ftate, he muft entertain a very fingular notion of the British conftitution. But the fact is, that not one of the articles of Limerick relates to the whole body of the Catholics but the firft, which ftipulates for them the fame indulgence in the exercife of their religion, which they enjoyed in the reign of Charles II. and engages for his majesty's good offices with the parliament, to extend to them fuch further indulgences as may be confiftent with the fafety of Ireland. Let the men who complain of a violation of the articles of Limerick, compare the fituation of the Catholics at this day with refpect to their religion, with their fituation during the reign of Ch. II.

By the act of fupremacy, 27th Elizabeth, priests who did not take the oath of fupremacy, and acknowledge their fovereign to be head of the church, were banifhed the king's dominions; if they returned, they were fubject to the penalties of treafon-no perfon to contribute to their maintenance abroad on pain of a præmunire: perfons discovering them in the kingdom, and not informing against them, were fubject to fine and imprisonment. No child to be fent abroad for education under the penalty of 100l. fubjects who were actually abroad bound to return within fix months, to take the oath of fupremacy. The act of uniformity which paffed in the reign of Charles II. prohibits altogether the celebration of the mafs, and both thefe ftatutes were rigidly enforced during the reign of Charles II. infomuch that on the Duke of Ormond's quitting the government of Ireland, there were but 3 Popish Bishops left in this country.

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The acts of fettlement and explanation impofed farther reftraints upon Catholics, which were all rigidly enforced during the reign of Charles II. What is the fituation of the Catholics of Ireland at this day with refpect to the exercife of their religion? It is not now barely under connivance, it is put under the protection of the law, upon conditions which are eafily performed, and are not complained of, and thereby the real claufes in the acts of fupremacy and uniformity, fo far as they relate to the exercife of the Popish religion, are, in my opinion, virtually repealed, fo that if we are to look to the first article of Limerick, which alone relates to the whole body of the Catholics, I do not fee that they have any founded complaint that it has been violated.

The 2d article of Limerick, which is what they principally rely upon, ftipulates, that their eftates with all rights and immunities belonging to them fhall be reftored. To whom? Not to the whole body of the Catholics, but to the garrifons of Limerick, Athlone, and fome other fortified places, and to officers bearing commiffions from James II. These are the perfons to whom alone this article extends; and if any doubt could arise upon the conftruction of it, it has been removed by the act of King William confirming the articles of Limerick, which enacts that this fecond article fhall be conftrued only to reftore the perfons comprised in t to their eftates as against the king, juft as if they had not taken a part in the rebellion, and this too on the exprefs condition that they fhould be adjudged to be comprised in the articles of Limerick, within two years from the paffing this act; and it is worth obferving, that by the military articles of Limerick,

Limerick, an option is given to all perfons entitled to the benefit of the capitulation, to quit the kingdom, and a ftipulation is made that they fhall be conveyed to France at the king's expence. And it is a fact perfectly well afcertained, that more than 20,000 of the native Irish availed themfelves of the ftipulation, and were actually conveyed to France at the expence of the crown, where they chose to fettle themselves rather than to live at home under the government of King William. It is therefore a ftrange affertion to make at this day, that the enacting laws for difarming Papifts, or for difabling them to vote, was a breach of faith by the parliament of Ireland, and an infraction of the articles of Limerick. They could not in their nature bind the parliament, and if they could, nothing in the shape of civil immunity was ftipulated by General Ginkle for the whole body of the Roman Catholics. I have thought right thus far to correct the grofs and exaggerated mifreprefentations which have gone forth upon this fubject, and which have been in fome meafure echoed by the two noble lords who spoke laft, and having been called upon by them, I cannot but ftate my anxious wifh that the account of Catholic grievances may be finally fettled in this feffion; no man in the community is more ready than I am to enter coolly and difpaffionately into the nature of their claims. I do moft folemnly proteft, that as an individual, I never have, nor will I ever enquire what may be the religion of any man-If he be an honeft man, whatever his religion may be, it fhall never influence me in my private dealing, and the more zealous any man is attached to any religion which he profeffes, the greater confidence fhall I always


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