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1801.

attend the first Imperial Parliament, the old seal of office was cancelled, and the new Union seal delivered to Lord Viscount Kilwarden, the Chief Justice of the King's Bench, and Lord Viscount Avonmore, the Chief Baron of the Exchequer, to be kept by them in commission during his absence. From the conduct of Lord Clare during the short space of time, that he survived the Union, it may be inferred, that he carried with him to England inflated ideas of his own meritorious consequence for having brought about that important event ; not unreasonably expecting, that Mr. Pitt would have admitted him to some co-ordinate share in the Government of the now united kingdom. He quickly perceived, that by snapping at the shadow, he had lost the reality of that political power, which he had been so long permitted to enjoy: not indeed for bis own, but for the purposes

of the British Minister, in his views of degrading and emasculating the most prolific and warlike part of the British Empire. Mr. Pitt was too ambitious and crafty to hear the familiarity of a rival : Lord Clare too haughty to brook the disdainful treatment of an inferior. Perhaps the first act of that nobleman's political sincerity, was his cordial repentance of having consented to become Mr. Pitt's tool in carrying the Union.

No means were omitted either in Ireland or in mending England, which were within the power of the

supporters of the Union, to render it at first palatable. In London, Cumberland House in Pall Mall was taken and fitted up at a large expence

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the Union.

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for the Union Club, into which it was the wish 1801. of the Unionists to admit all the nobility and gentry of Ireland, as well as such of the Englislı as should chuse to give sanction and countenance to that measure *. A grand gala was instantly announced to be in preparation, at which it was given out, that the Prince of Wales was to meet Lord Clare, and openly acknowledge his Royal Highness' sense of the high value he put upon his Lordship's exertions in bringing that desirable object to bear.

The 22d of January was the day, on which the First meetImperial Parliament first met, pursuant to the late rial Parliaprorogation. In developing the system of governing Ireland, it is not immaterial to observe, that Mr. Addington was proposed as the Speaker of the Imperial Parliament by Mr. Pelham, and seconded by Mr. Charles Yorke. The Parliament was opened by commission: but the King's Speech was not delivered till the 2d of February. Mr. Pitt is said to have tendered his resignation on the 11th of January, which was not then accepted by his Majesty, nor generally known to the public. In the mean time the eneiny lust not sight of Ireland. The French papers boastingly announced, that three powerful armaments were preparing to

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* Novelty and fashion at first induced several persons to become members of that Club. It soon fell off, and the Club af. terwards found it necessary to take a smaller house, and reduce their system of expence. The reduction however of the Club did not keep pace with the disappointment, repentance and disapprobation of the measure, which gave it rise.

1801.

leave Brest. Genthaume was to command one
fleet of nine sail of the linė; La Fouche another
of five; and a combined fleet of 15 French, and
as many Spanish sail of the line with frigates and
transports was destined for the invasion of Ire.
land under Admira! Bruir : and it was given out
in the confidential papers of Government, tliat
large bodies were on their march to Brest to be
put on board. Government at the same time at
tempted to disguise some of the most flagrant
illegality of their conduct under the appearance of
conciliation and justice towards Ireland. They
sent Mr. Basilico, a special messenger, to conduct
Mr. Roger O'Connor, a State prisoner, from Fort
George in the North of Scotland to London,
where he was formally liberated upon bail*, on

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• Viz. himself in 50001. and Mr. George Smith and Hogh Bell in 2,500l. each. The recognizance was acknowledged be. fore the Bow-street Magistrate, the late Sir Richard Ford. It bound Mr. R. O'Connor not to return without license to Ireland, but to remain in Middlesex, or wherever else in England it should please his Majesty to appoint during the war,

It had long been a leading principle of the system, that the Irish should be shut out of the bulwarks of the British Constitution, and their personal liberty rendered dependant upon the suspicion of Privy Counsellors or Secretaries to the Lord Lieutenant. This anticonstitutional innovation necessarily introduced a new species of criminal process bottomed upon the floating humours and interests of the underlings of power. A detailed account there. . fore of the dealing with such suspected person, to whom no delin. quency can be brought bome, is as requisite to illustrate this part of the system, as a report of a legal trial is to ascertain the Crown law of the land. The instruction to be acquired from cach case formally shats out every other consideration of the in

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the 24th day of January 1801. It was weakly

1301.

dividual, than that, which brings him under the suspicion of Government in one case, or the arm of the law in the other.

Mr. R. O'Connor, though a younger brother, was in the spirit of the old Irish tannestry made the head of his family (or sept) by being put into possession of the family mansion and estate of Connorville, within 14 miles of Bantry Bay. He was a nephew of Lord Longueville, who as vehemently supported the system of coercion, as O'Connor deprecated and opposed it. In December 1796, O'Connor rendered signal services to that part of our army of above 5000 militia men, who were sent to Bantry to oppose the landing of the French. The merit of those services was greatly enhanced by the chearfulness, with which they were performed by O'Connor and his tenants, and the lamentable distress, to which the troops were then reduced. The billeting money, which was offered to O'Connor for having maintained the men, he generously distributed amongst them, in aid of their further wants. Kindness ever ensures the gra'itude of the Irish people. In the following month of April, O'Connor's steward was taken into custody by Lord Bantry, on the information of one Cullinane, an approver, for having administered the oath of union, and was conveyed to Cork goal. The steward and Cullinane were twice examined on oath by Lord Bantry and the Rev. Mr. Selleto, and repeatedly swore, that O'Connor knew nothing of their being concerned in the Union. Wbilst they were confined, every means of threat, promise, lure and punishment were successively resorted to, in order to extort from them something, that would implicate O'Connor. They could extract nothing even from the approver Cullinane. Notwithstanding a warrant signed by six Privy Counsellors issued to apprebend him. O'Connor having received information of their in. lent, quitted his house, and was at the distance of 12 miles, when the detachment of horse arrived at Convorville. They searched the house from the garret to the cellar for arms, but found none : they offered extravagant bribes to the servants, who refused to betray their master : they marched back disappointed. On the next day O'Connor, though he objected to

1801. imagined, that one solitary act of tardy and im

give himself up to the military, through his Law Agent, of.
fered to surrender himself to Judge Chamberlain, who was then
holding the assizes at Cork, provided he would give him an as- 1
surance of being tried immediately for whatever should be al-
leged against him. On the Judge's expressing his inability to
comply with that request, whilst the habeas corpus was sus-
pender, he went to England. There he received on the 8th of
June by the same packet the copy of a proclamation issued by
Lord Camden on the 17th of May 1797, inviting every person
10 come in and surrender, and give security for the peace on an
assurance of being no further questioned, and an account that 51
peasants from the neighbourhood of Connorville (though none of
O'Connor's tenants) had been thrown into gual on the oaths of
two hired informers. He returned to Ireland, mainly for the
purpose of defending those persons, all of whom he knew to be
loyal and faithful men, and surrendered himself at Mallow to
Lord Kinsale and Sir James Cotter on the faith of the proclama-
tion, and on the 18th of June informed Lord Camden and Mr.
Secretary Pelham of his having complied with its terms. He
returned not to Connorville till the 5th of July. He was soon
after perfidiously invited to the camp near Bandon by Brigadier
General Coote, and there arrested on the 14th of July, under a
State warrant, dated on the 1st of July, but few days after he
had sent his certificate to the Lord Lieutenant and bis Şecretary
of having complied with the conditions of the proclamation of
the 17th of May. General Coote having no further orders,
knew not how to deal with his prisoner. He accompanied him
to Banilon, where he was detained three days. On the 3d day
of his detention there, O'Connor received a letter from Mr. Pel-
ham dated on the very day, on which he had been arrested at
the camp, desiring him to repair to Dublin immediately, as Go-
vernment was informed, he could throw much light on Irish
affairs, that he might rest assured of his person being perfectly
secure, and that he should be permitted immediately after to re-
turn home unmolested. As this letter from Mr. Pelham was
written before his having been taken into custody could have been
known in Dublin, General Coote found it necesary to write

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