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Ireland was vested in commissioners, but Henry, anticipating his recall by the parliament, sent his resignation to the speaker, and retired from public life. Rapin gives it as the general opinion, that had Henry been made protector instead of Richard, the course of events afterwards would have been widely different from what it was. Early in May, four commissioners came from the parliament to Dublin, and continued undisturbed in power till January, 1659–60, when a party of general officers seized the castle, declared for å free parliament, and, upon petition from the mayor and aldermen of the city, summoned a convention which met in February.
While matters were going on thus in Dublin, measures were being taken in England which ended in an agreement that Charles II. should take the throne of Britain. He had, years before, sworn to the solemn league and covenant, and been crowned at Scone: he now promised all manner of good things as he thought might be agreeable to the parties who went to negotiate with him at Breda. On 14th May, 1660, his declaration was accepted by the convention in Dublin, and the authorities there concurred in his restoration. Soon afterwards, Sir Hardress Waller with his troops seized the castle for the parliament, but was obliged to surrender it after a siege of five days. By the close of the year, the “ Restoration” was accomplished ; lords justices were sworn in to administer the king's government in Ireland; and the Duke of Ormond came over as lord lieutenant the following year.
The ecclesiastical arrangements of Ireland now reverted to the position in which they were before the English parliament acquired the sovereignty of the country. Bramhall was appointed to the primacy, and six new bishops were consecrated for vacant sees. Nonconformists were ejected from the churches and the college, without waiting, as in England, for a new Act of Uniformity.
The college was a gainer by the Restoration. Archbishop Usher had died in 1655: his library, containing ten thousand volumes, which had cost him many thousand pounds, was, together with his collection of manuscripts, then offered for sale. The King of Denmark and Cardinal Mazarin sought to purchase it; but the officers and men of the parliamentary army in Ireland, nobly resolving that so great a treasure should not leave the country, raised among themselves the money requisite to secure it, and then freely assigned it for the new college which had been projected in the city. It was placed in the castle for safe custody. When Charles came to the throne, he made a present of it to Trinity College, and over the compartments which it occupies in the library, his royal munificence is commemorated by the following inscription : "Bibliotheca Usscriana Ex Dono Serenissimi Regis Caroli Secundi.”
Dr. Parr states that this contribution then made up the greater part of the college library.
During the year 1662, some of the nonconformist ministers who had formally resided in the city returned and regathered their congregations.
Of these were Samuel Mather and Dr. Harrison. The church of the former met in New Row, the other in Cooke street. A third congregation was formed in Wood street.
Among the occurrences of the city about this period, mentioned in its annals, are the gift of a colIar of SS. to its chief magistrate by the king, in 1660, together with a foot company to protect his person and sustain his dignity. This was followed in 1665 by the title of “ Lord Mayor,” and £500 a year in lieu of the foot company. In October, 1666, the lord lieutenant and the council “considered about sending 105,000 bullocks for the relief of London, lately burnt;" but whether they did the generous deed is not explained.
The next year, through an apprehension of invasion from France, the militia were enrolled; and that year was further remarkable for the birth of the celebrated Dean Swift, in Hoey's court, near the castle, the houses in which were then handsome residences, though now in extreme dilapidation. In 1670, “in consequence of a great storm at new moon, the river overflowed up to Lazar's Hill, now Brunswick street, and the college.” St. Stephen's Green was enclosed and drained, and a double row of lime trees planted along the wall. New pipes were laid for supplying the city with water. Bells were hung in St. Patrick's, Christ Church, and St. Catharine's. Essex bridge was erected in 1676.
Not long' subsequent to the Restoration, the leaders of the Roman Catholics were on the alert to engage the king to fulfil the stipulations made
to them in the peace concluded between his father andsthe confederates, in 1648–9. A toleration was in consequence granted them, but not to the extent desired. Shortly after this, the plot of Titus Oates, in England, created alarm in Ireland. Stringent courses were taken by the authorities against the "papists." All Roman Catholic ecclesiastics were ordered to quit the country, and no person of their persuasion was allowed to enter the castle. The titular archbishop of Dublin was thrown into prison. Proclamation was made to seize and confine the relations of “ Tories,” till the principals were killed or apprehended; also to incarcerate the parish priest on occasions when a robbery had been committed.
Charles II. died on February 6th, 1684: James II. was proclaimed in Dublin on the 11th. In the same year,
“the Royal Hospital of Kilmainham, at the west end of Dublin, was built at the charge of the army, being a very spacious, stately, and commodious building, for aged and maimed soldiers, who are here well maintained,” says Harris, “to the number of about four hundred.” Ormond and Arran bridges were also erected.
In January, 1685, the Earl of Clarendon succeeded the Duke of Ormond as lord lieutenant, and having held office twelve months, was superseded by the Earl of Tyrconnel. This nobleman had already, while having command of the troops as lieutenant general, made the army, as far as possible, Roman Catholic; and now proceeded more thoroughly to fulfil his royal master's will, and to promote the interests of his Church, in
the exercise of his new powers. But he had one aim which he did not dare to avow. He secretly negotiated for separating Ireland from the British crown, and placing it under the protectorate of France. Protestants were removed from the highest law offices, and Roman Catholics appointed in their room. The municipal corporations were cajoled, on various pretexts and promises, to give up their charters, in order to new ones being granted, and if they objected, were pursued with a quo warranto. By this means, the local civil authorities throughout the country became Roman Catholic. Large provisions were made for the Roman Catholic prelates; and dispensations were granted to Protestant Episcopal ministers who embraced Romanism, to retain their benefices, notwithstanding their apostasy, of which a signal instance occurred in Peter Manby, the dean of Derry. In April, 1687, came out James's “ Declaration of Liberty of Conscience," by his sole prerogative suspending the execution of the penal laws against Roman Catholics and Dissenters. It extended to Ireland, and was met by addresses of approval, thanks, and professions of loyalty from almost all parties in the country; among others, under the head of “Windsor, June 20,” the London Gazette mentions that “An Address from the Presbyterian ministers and the-congrégations in and near the city of Dublin, was transmitted hither by his excellency the Earl of Tyrconnel, lord deputy of Ireland; with another address presented to his excellency on the same subject by those of the Congregational persuasion,