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1801. . Government, thic president on such communica
tion, should after the month conveve the electors, in order to chuse some other candidate. Mr. Pitt never lost sight of this insidiouis negociation, into which he bad seduced a'certain number of the unsuspecting prelates. This was the foundation stone of that deep láid plan of Mr. Pitt and his associ+ ates, to scduce or force the Irish Catholics into the samé state of schism from the Church of Rome, as that, which took place in England in the reign of Henry VIII. This was the origin of that vital question of Veto, which has been so 'warmly discussed both in England and Ireland, and which in the order of chronology will be hereafter noticed. *
* Mr. Pitt in his speech upon the Catholic Question in the year 1805, (Deb. 127.) very fully explained himself upon this most important question, which neither in 1801 nor in 1805 was commonly seen through or thoroughly understood by the generality of his hearers. i It seemed expedient also to pro. vide some guards against the evil influence, which the bigotry of priests might prompt them to exercise over the lower orders : and for that purpose I was desirous, that measures should be arlopted to conciliate the priests, themselves to Government, by making them in some degree dependent upon it, and thus ren. dering them links to connect the Government with the lower classes of society, instead of being the means of separation and agitation, who by infusing the prejudices, would divide the Ca. tholic from the Protestant, and alienate hint from his duty. That I conceive would be a wise and liberal system to pursue. My idea was to impose checks and guards, which whilst they secured against the danger of the innovation, would provide additional means for the defence of the country, ensure the respect due to the Protestant Clergy, and extend a proper influence to the Roman
Who are the
The motives of Mr. Pitt and his colleagues for 1801. retiring from his Majesty's service, or as Lord Cornwallis more feelingly expressed himself, for real friends sacrificing their situations at so critical a period, would be immaterial to the Irish people, were it not for the deception practised upon them. . A demand of confidential gratitude was made upon the Irish Catholics to men, calling themselves friends to their cause, which from the year 1795 they had systematically opposed, against which they had in true Machiavelian policy fostered, arrayed, and permanently established the Orange Societies, and which they betrayed to their implacable enemies, in the moment, when called upon by private honor, public justice and national policy to redeem their pledge. The Irish have long been forbearing victims of oppression and persecution. It was reserved for Mr. Pitt to immolate them to that very Protestant Ascendancy, for which the Popery Code had been originally manufactured, but which he found too revolting for the opening liberality of the existing generation. The Christian indurance of unmerited persecution prevented not an intelligent and sagacious people from knowing, that the worst of enensies is the pretended friend. They beheld the British Minister retreating in despair of continuing the war with success, and without the
Catholic Communion.” The consequences of rendering a body of between two and three thousand Roman Catholic Clergymen the creatures of an Anti Catholic Government, will be seen and felt most justly by those, who know most of the Roman Cathelie Religion.
1801. ability or even the wish to make peace with credit
or' advantage. They lamented, that he had aggrandized France, but had subdued Ireland, by · rivetting internal discord, driving her into rebellion, and thence into external union. That fatal triumph of political profligacy, from which even i returning patriotism can hardly rally. Although Mr. Pitt had too long and too successfully practised upon the corrupt servility of his Irish dependants, he never lost sight of, nor forgave their successful stand in rejecting his commercial propositións in 1785, and inviting the Prince of Wales to accept of the unlimited regency in 1788. He welt knew, that in Legislative Union only rested the impossibility of such recurrence. Having rivetted this indissolable chain, with a view to arbitrary resumption, he relinquished power, and with recreant malice, proclaimed then for the first time, that on the Emancipation of Ireland the safety of the British empire depended. He and his colléagnes resigned, pledging themselves to support their successors, (and they declined to accept of office without that support) in an administration avowedly formed on implacable hostility to that identical measure, which he scrupled not to declare essential to the safety of the empire.
In the embarrassing circumstances of a general signed for dissolution of the most powerful administration tion of his ever known in the country, under the menace of Majesty's
external power and the pressure of internal distress,
Malicious cause as
was wiekedly given out to the public, that the pressure upon his Majesty's conscience, to violate his Coronation Oath by. consenting to emancipate his Irish Catholic subjects, had brought on for some time back an alarming alteration in his Majesty's health. Those, whose object it was to lay these early, symptoms of the disorder-to the account of conscientious scruples in the Royal breast acted consistently with their own views, by raising the public sympathies into a concerted diffidence and horror of the Irish nation. Lord Castlereagh had for some time been preparing the materials for the fabrication of a report of a secret committee, to prove, (contrary to the fact) that rebellion still existed in Ireland, and therefore, that there was a necessity for renewing the Act for suspending the habeas corpus, which was about to expiré on the 25th of March. Accordingly he had fixed the 20th of February for moving for a bill to enable the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland to put Martial Law in force in such parts of Ireland as he should think proper: but as there was a call of the House on that day, to take into consideration the state of the nation, he postponed his motion till the call should have taken place.
On tliat same day, the attention of the House Several was exclusively devoted to Irish matter. Colonel Bagwell subnjitted to the consideration of the Parliament. House (without offering any specific motion) the hardship of the Irish members paying both Irish and English taxes and duties, when they went over to attend Parliament in England. General Wal
Irisb mat ters before
1801. pole, after strong opposition from Lord Castlereagh
and the Speaker, moved for a list of all persons holding offices and pensions in Ireland, who had seats in that House and thereupon a committee was appointed to enquire, what offices, places, &c. under the Crown in Ireland were holden by members of that House, and to distinguish those holden during pleasure from those granted in rever sion. And Mr. Secretary Dundas in pursuance of notice, moved for leave to bring in a bill for establishing a more equal proportion between the num. ber of men and officers in the regiments of militia in Ireland; in order to put them exactly on the same footing with the English militia. The number of officers in the Irish reginents * was too small in proportion toʻthe number of men. Leave was given to bring in the bill for 'encreasing their number.
• The paucity of Catholic officers in the Irish Militia regiments, in proportion to the number of Catholic individuals qualified to be appointed to commissions in those corps, is a subject of important reflection. Nor is it lightly suggested, that the more considerable part of the Protestant subalterns in the Militia reginients have received their appointments without legal qualifi. cations. A Mr. John Giffard, who once was a captain in the Dublin City Militia has been noticed in the introduction, as eminently zealous for exterminating all the Catholics from Ireland, (p. 21, Int.) and for his atchievements in the unfought scene of blood and devastation at Ballyholan. (p. 95, Int:) It is well known, that on the night of the 23d of May, 1798, the-disaffection of the county of Kildare broke out into open civil war. On that same night the Limerick Mail Coach was stopped by the insurgents as it was entering Kildare, and the passengers were made prisoners. Aniongst them was a younger son of Captain Giffard, a Lieuto