C. P. (Charles Patrick) Meehan.

The confederation of Kilkenny online

. (page 12 of 22)
Online LibraryC. P. (Charles Patrick) MeehanThe confederation of Kilkenny → online text (page 12 of 22)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


it enacted by the kings most excellent majesty, the lords
spirituall and temporall, and commons in this present
parliament assembled, and by authority of the same,
that from, of, and after the first day of this session of
parliament, it shall and may be lawful! to, and for all
the professors of the Roman Catholique religion, of
what degree, condition or quality soever, to have and
enjoy the free and publike exercise and profession of the
said Roman Catholique religion, and of their severall
and respective functions therein, without incurring any
mulct and penalty whatsoever, or being subject to any
restraint or incapacity concerning the same, any article,
clause, sentence, or provision in the said last mentioned
act of parliament, or in any other act or acts of parlia-
ment, ordinances, law or usage to the contrary in any-
wise notwithstanding. And be it also further enacted,
that neitlier the said statutes, or any other statute, act,
or ordinance heretofore made in your majesties raigne,
or in any the raigne of any of your highnesse most noble
progenitors or ancestors, and now of force in this king-
dome, nor all, nor any branch, article, clause, and sen-
tence in them, or any of them contained and expressed
shall be of force and validity in this realme, to extend
to be construed or adjudged to extend in anywise to en-
quiet, prejudice, vexe or molest the professors of the
said Roman Catholique religion, in their persons, lands,
hereditaments, or goods, for anything, matter, or cause
whatsoever touching, and concerning the free and pub-
Jic^ue use, exercise and enjoyinfi; of their eayd religion.



124



CONFEDERATION OF KILKENNY.



function, and profession; And be it also further enacted
and declared by the authority aforesaid that your ma-
jesties Roman Catholique subjects in the said realme
of Ireland from the first day of this session of parliament
shall be and be taken, deemed, and adjudged capable of
all offices of trust, and advancement, places, degrees, and
dignities, and preferments whatsoever withhi your said
realme of Ireland, any act, statute, usage or law, to
the contrary notwithstanding. And that other acts shall
be passed in the said parliament, according to the tenour
of such agreement or concessions as herein are exi)ressed,
and that in the meantime the said Roman Catholique
subjects, and every of them shall enjoy the full freedom,
benefit, and advantage of the said agreement or conces-
sions and of every of them.

" It is accorded, granted, and agreed by the said earle,
for and on the behalfe of his majesty, his heirs and success
sors : that his Ex. the Lord Marques of Orniond, lord
lieutenant of Ireland, or any other or others authorized
by his majesty, shall not disturbe the professors of the
Roman Catholique religion in their present possession,
and continuance of the possession of their said churches,
jurisdiction or any other the matters aforesaid in these
articles agreed and consented unto by the said E. untiU
his majesties pleasure be signified for coifirming and
publishing the grounds and agreements hereby articled
for, and condiscended unto by the said earle. And the
said earle of Glamorgara doth hereby ingage his majes-
ties royall and publique faith unto all and singular the
professors of tlie said Roman Catholique religion within
the said kingdome of Ireland, for the due observance
and performance of all and every the articles, grounds
and clauses, herein contained, and the concessions
herein mentioned to be performed to them.

" It is accorded and agreed that the publique faith of
the kingdome shall be engaged unto the said earle by
the said confederate Catholiques for sending 10,000 rnen
to serve his majesty by order and publique declaration
of the generall assembly now sitting : and the supreme
councell of the said confederate CathoUques shall en-
gage themselves to bring the said number of men armed,
the one-half with musketts, and the otlier half with
pikes, uato any port within this realme within the eleo-



CONFEDERATION *F KILKENNY. 12«

tion of the said earle, and at such time as he shall ap-»
point to be by him shipfled and transported to serve his
majesty in England, Wales, or Scotland, under the
command of the said Earle of Glamorgan, as lord gene-
rail of the said army : which army is to be kept together
tn one entire body, and all otlier the said officers and
commanders of the said army are to be named by the
supreme councell of the said confederate Catholiques, or
by such others as the severall assembly of the said confe-
derate CathoUques of this kingdome shall entrust there-
with. In witness whereof the parties of these presents
liave hereunto enterchangeably put their hands and seals
the 25th day of August, 1643.

" Glamorgan.
** Copia vera coUata fideliter originali,

Thomas Cashell, P. Partricius,

Waterford and Lismore."



Digby denied the authenticity of the document — and
asserted that it was either forged or surreptitiously
obtained. In a tone of indignation which subsequent
events must prove to have been affected, and without a
particle of sincerity, he told the commissioners that their
offer of the subsidies, on the terms which they proposed,
should be scornfully rejected. "And for my part,"
continued he, " sooner than counsel his majesty to accept
your assistance on the terms which you have made with
Glamorgan, I would sacrifice the lives of my wife and
children. Go back to Kilkenny, and inform the presi-
dent of the federative assembly that the Protestants of
England would fling the king's person out at his window,
if they believed it possible that he lent himself to such
an undertaking." *

When the commissioners returned with this strange
intelligence, consternation and amaze seized every one
Avho heard it. At the time there were but few of tho
confederates in the city ; the rest Avere spending the
Christmas holidays in their homes, and anxiously await-
ing the result which, they fancied, would restore peace
to Ireland, and leave them free to succour the Tinfortu-

ki^.-/.\, p. 86.



;26



CONFEDERATION OF KILKENNY.



nate king. The nuncio immediately summoned itk
many of them as he could collect, for the purpose of
ascertaining what was to be done in such a critical
emergency. All of them protested vehemently against
the injury which was inflicted on Glamorgan ; and some
were of opinion that they ought to march en Dublin,
and demand his liberation from an unjust imprisonment,
which they regarded as an insult put upon themselves.
Far from regarding Glamorgan's powers as fictitious,
they avowed their belief that he had been commissioned
by the king to treat with them, and that the conditions
on which they had agreed could not but be pleasing to
his majesty, as they stipulated nothing which they had
not a right to demand. Five of the confederates waited
on the nuncio in his own house, to learn from him what
supplies he could give in case they came to a resolution
to besiege Dublin (an enterprise which he anxiously de-
sired) ; but on hearing from him that he could not give
an exact account of the money till his agent, Invernizi,
had returned from Flanders, where he was sent to pur-
chase some frigates, their ardour began to cool. Mount-
garret and Muskerry gave a different version of the ar-
rest, and, in their overweening estimate of Ormond's
probity, sought to screen him from any suspicion which
might reflect on his honour and loyalty. But, notwith-
standing the palliation which they offered for the conduct
of the lord lieutenant, a great number of the confede-
rates were for active measures, and were fully satisfied
with the answer they subsequently received from the
nuncio, who asserted that at the time he could take
upon himself the expenses that might be incurred by a
campaign in any one of the provinces, if they could
assure him that it would tend to bring about a peace on
the conditions which they had already made.

Nothing could be more acceptable to the prelates* and
people than this proposal. They had long since lost all
respect for the promises of Ormond ; but that section of
the confederacy which called itself the Ormondist party,
fearing tliat they might *!e involved in a war, laboured
against the popiilar feeling, and pressed their resolution
to have the whole matter submitted to the general
assembly.

This resolution had not the concurrence of tfca



CONFEDERATION OF KILKENNY.



127



prelates or the people, for although the truce with
Ormond could not expire till the 17th of January, they
regarded the recent transactions as justificatory of an
infraction. But there were, of the confederates, some
who did not hesitate to avow that, in case of hostility,
the marquess would make terms with the parliamenta-
rians, and turn all his powers against the assembly.
"Whether this might have been the case or not, certain
it is that if they had resolved to advance on Dublin,
it could not have stood a siege of eight days, open as it
Avas to attack, and the castle without means of holding out
against a vigorous effort.* Meanwhile, the nuncio Avrote
to the English queen and Cardinal Mazarin, informing
tliem of Glamorgan's arrest, and deploring the state of
insecurity into which the artifices of Ormond had drawn
the Irish people. In his letter to Henrietta Maria, he
assured her of the devotedness of the Irish Catholics to
the interests of the king, and lamented the interruption
which the expedition under the command of Glamor-
gan had met, by reason of his incarceration.

According to their resolutions, the assembly of the
confederate Catholics met at Kilkenny early in January.
The prelates and clergy approached the meeting with a
feeling against Ormond, which was only embittered by
his recent proceedings; and, now that Glamorgan's
peace had been set aside, they calculated on terms to be
proposed by the lord lieutenant, to which their oath
of association, and the sweat and toil of five years in
the cause of Catholicity, forbade their assent.

Their first act was to write to Ormond threatening to
suspend all further negotiation, if the Earl of Gla-
morgan was not immediately freed from arrest. The
release of the prisoner, they said, was absolutely neces-
sary for the relief of Chester. Three thousand men
were ready to embark, f and only waited the transports;
all was at a stand by his imprisonment, and further
delay compromised the king. Sir Robert Talbot was



* At this moment Ormond was in concert with Munroe in the north,
and in great want of prdvisions. The castle, which at that time waa
the principal magazine of Ireland, had not arms or food to resure ti
siege. — Jiinuccini's Corresp.

t These troops had been d'-awn out of the armies in the throo



123



CON'yEDEBATION OF KILKKNNy.



»ent hy the confederates to second this letter^ ajid ua
the 2'2ad of January an order was given for his Jxjing
bailed upon .£40,000 sterling, seeiirity, given by the
Earl of Kildare and the Marquess of Clanricarde. He
was also bound to appear before the board within thirty
days after notice. Nor need it be wondered at tliat
Ormond could thus dismiss the nian whom he im-
I)eached of high treason, for he was a party to the
collusion, and professed himself quite satisfied with
Glamorgan's commission, which had subjoined to it
a defeasance* or starting hole, stipulating that the king
sliould be no further bound than he liimself might
think fit, after he had witnessed the efforts of the Irish
Catholics in his favour. Nothing can be more clear
than that tlie whole transaction was meant as a blmd
for the English Protestants, and a delusive hope for the
Irish Catholics.

On his release, Glamorgan proceeded to Kilkenny,
where he was received by the assembly. Far from
resenting the treatment he had received from Ormond,
he praised and extolled his conduct, declaring that,
under the circumstances, he could not have ac&ed
otherwise.

But these professions were far from satisfying the
nuncio and the prelates. They immediately concluded
that there Avas something fraudulent in the transaction,
and determined to receive any proposition, which Gla-
morgan might advance, with greater caution for the
future.

The assembly was now unhappily divided into two
parties. The clergy were obstinately opposed to any
peace which did not secure the free and open exercise of
the Catholic religion. Their oath of association, they
asserted, bound them to identify the interests of religion
with the support of the king : nor would they accede to
any terms which did not stipulate the restoration of all
the cathedral and parochial churches with the revenues
which had been wrested from them by "the reforma-
tion."

On the other hand, the lords and gentlemen of the
Pale insisted on a peace, which, committing this import-



• 7he nuncio seoms to hare been igntxraat of this defeasance.



CONFEDERATION OF KILKENNY,



129



ant question to the ulterior decision of the king, would
leave them free to succour him immediately. Tliis ex-
pedient, they contended, was a sufficient security for the
church, and the only means of effectually uniting the
Protestant loyalists with the Catholics. They contended,
moreover, that the articles of Glamorgan's private
treaty (provided it was a bona fide transaction) were
ample, and in every respect satisfactory. But the recent
imprisonment of the earl had shaken tlie confidence of
the clergy, and they regarded the devotion of Mus-
kerry and Mountgarret to the interests of Ormond as the
necessary consequences of their connexion with hjm.
So generally did this feeling of distrust pervade the
popular class, that Emerus, bishop of Clogher, was
obliged to write to the Ulster chieftains, rebuking their
adherents for having come to a determination not to join
the troops intended to be sent to Chester. *

The division which now reigned in the assembly was
nothing less than the reflex of the popular feeling. The
old nobility, slighted by Ormond, and excluded from any
participation in the management of the treaty, had iden-
tified themselves with the clergy, and preferred all the
horrors of civil war to what they termed an ignominious
peace. The nobility and gentry of the Pale were chiefly
concerned for the security of their temporalities and the
toleration of their religion, beside which they had no-
thing in common with the indigenous population. So
deeply rooted was the aversion of the latter to the king's
representative, that they hailed the nuncio's arrival as
that of a general Avho was to raise the pontifical stand-
ard, and lead them against Ormond and the puritans,
whom they identified in hostility to their cr^ed and
country.! It required no trifling labour, on the part of
the nuncio, to remove the erroneous impression under
which they laboured. It was industriously circulated
that he came to make the pope protector of Ireland; and
deep as was their sense of loyalty, they required no sti-
mulus to shake oflT a yoke which misrule and tyranny
had rendered intolerable. False, however, as it was,



• Vindiciae Hibemonim. p. 77.

♦ Amongst others, Clarendon.



130 CONFEDERATION OF KILKENNY.

the impression had been made, not by Einnccini, but hy
his enemies ; for any siich overture on his x^art would
have been in direct opposition to the court of Eome,
which was far more interested for the unfortunate
Chnj-les tlian those who propagated the slander.

But the mod- ate party was determined to conchide
with Ormond, and in order to swell the number of tluir
votes, they caused ex officio niembers to be elected to
the council. This informality, however, could not
produce the desired clTect, for the clergy were deter-
mined, if they could not prevent the publication, a'
least to have it postponed.

They contended that Glamorgan's treaty was not to
be depended on, as it contained no positive guarantee
for its fulfilment. All his promises were dependent on
two contingencies . the good will of a capricious
monarch, and his ability to realize tliem. Moreover,
Glamorgan could not now be regarded as an agent free
to treat on behalf of his majesty, inasmuch as he was
bound to appear before the council board within thirty
days after notice, so that they knew not how soon he
might be summoned, and be obliged to leave the treaty
without the royal sanction.

On the other side it was as vehemently argued that
the Marquess of Ormond's powers to treat with the
confederates, should terminate on the first of April,
and in case they could not conclude with him, the king
might revoke his commission, and thus deprive the
country of such a valuable acquisition. They were
empowered to state, on the lord lieutenant's behadf, that
if the treaty was concluded, he would join with the
confederates in expelling the Puritans, and the Marquess
of Clanricarde would come to their aid. A more
urgent argument advanced by the Ormondist party was,
that if, instead of a peace, they only made a truce, the
soldiers who were destined to proceed to Chester, might
refuse to march, fearing that on landing they might be
treated as rebels by the royal troops.

But these arguments were strenuously combated by
the clergy. They insisted that it was easy for liie
Marquess of Ormond to procure a renewal of his patent,
nor could they conceive how the. royal troops could

at the Irish soldiers as rebels, without injuring the



CON-FEDERATIOX OF KILKENNT. 31

royal cause. The three thousand who were now ready
to march and embark, were but an instahnent of the
ten for which Glamorgan had stipulated, and it was not
witliin the range of probabiiities that they would be
maltreated by the royalists, as such conduct on their
part would clearly prevent the rest from setting foot in
England or Wales.

Whilst these discussions were pending, an incident
occurred which was' calculated to confirm the clergy in
their opposition to Ormond's peace. The nuncio pro-
duced letters from Rome which had been despatched
early in November, informing him that a treaty was
about to be concluded between the pope and the queen*
of England, on behalf of the Irish Catholics. Sir
Kenelm Digby, the queen's agent at the papal court,
had been fully empowered to make terms for the Irish
Catholics, which having received the approval of the
head of the church, could not but be highly advanta-
geous and honourable. The treaty, which was so
materially to benefit them, included the English
Catholics, and should of course rouse them to more
strenuous efforts in the king's cause. Glamorgan, in
order to give more weight to tliis argument, asserted
that whilst he was detained in custody, Digby informed
him that in case the holy see advanced an annual sum
for the king's support, his majesty would extend the
benefit of the pontifical treaty to the English Catholics. f

It would appear that the president of the confederates
had been notified of the proceedings at Rome ; but, as if
attaching little or no importance to them, he did not di-
vulge the intelligence to the council.

Muskerry and Mountgarret affected to believe that
this negotiation was nothing but a fiction, and meant to
delay the publication of the peace with Ormond. Ley-



* At this moment there was a memorial sent to the queen by Col.
Rtzrwilliara, praj-ing her majesty to vouchsafe to prevail with liis
majesty to condescend to tlie just demands of his Irish subjects, the
confederate Catholics, at least in private, and the colonel undertook to
bring an army of 10,000 men or more into Enghmd. He required tliut
he should be appointed commander-in-chief, &c., -with a month's pay
In advance for the men on tiieir landing. Ihe queen expressed her
gatisfaction, but the money was not forthcoming.— ^or^ow, 155.

t Hinuccini, 06.



132 CONFEDERATION OF KILKENNY.

burn* denounced it as non-existent, and was sliarply re-
buked by the nuncio, and the general feeling of the
laity in tlie assembly was, that such a negotiation on the
part of the queen consort, herself unautliorized, was nu-
gatory and futile.

Notwithstanding this acrimonious controversy, the
nuncio induced the bishops to sign an agreement, by
which they bound themselves to accept no other terms
^ut what Avere stipulated in the pontifical treaty. He
at the same time caused Glamorgan to avow that he
would not any further pursue liis own private treaty,
but insist on the new project as more conducive to the
king's welfare and that of the Catholics of Ireland. —
The argument of the nuncio was, tliat it did not become
a true son of the church to put liis own peace in compe-
tition with that approved by the pope ; and he therefore
should wait for the original from Konie.

On the 7th of February the nuncio addressed the
council, extolling the queen's negotiation with his holiness,
who had already contributed a considerable sum to Sir
Kenelm Digby for the maintenance of the king. He
produced the heads of the treaty which had not as yet
been signed, and expatiated on the good-wiU which the
pope entertained for the English Catholics, evidencing
the fact by the offer which his holiness had made of con-
tributing annually one hundred thousand crowns for the
maintenance of the royal troops, till the king, in a free
parliament, would be able to repeal all the penal laws
against the English Catholics. On the word of a prince
he assured them that the conclusion of these articles
might be hourly expected, as it was probable that Sir
Kenelm Digby was already on his way.

But nothing could abate the eagerness of Lord



* This Dr. Leybum was an Englishman, and one of the queen's
chaplains. He may be said to have been tlie leader of a small faction
of the clergy who opposed the niincio's views. This faction consisted
of Walsh and a few otliers, whom the nuncio represents as preachuig
tliis slavish doctrine : — '■ 1 he Jewish people were years v^ithout
a Temple— Our Lord instituted the eucharistic sacrifice in a private
domicile; why, therefore, should the Catholics insist on the restitution
of their temples ?" The real state of tlie case, however, was simply
this : — Kinuccinj was deteiTnined, in due time, to enforce the monastic
nile in all its rigom', and eiTatic spirits like W alsh's and Caron^i
dreaded Uie observances to which it would hiive bound them.— T. Min.



CONFEDERATION OV KILKENNY



135



Ormond's adherents for the peace. For fuUy five days
the assembly had more the appearance of a conclave
concerned with abstract speculations, than real practical
measures, and it was not till the fifteenth of the month
that Glamorgan succeeded in appointing seven of the
confederates to confer with the nuncio "for removing
mistakes and reconciling differences."

On the 18th Glamorgan signed an instrument in
which he ratified the articles between the queen and
the pope, and undertook that they should be confirmed
by the king, provided that, if the original articles of
that treaty arrived by the first of May, the said
instrument was to be void ; and in the mean time to be
kept secret, unless the political articles of the peace
with the lord lieutenant should be published before.
In order to put an end to the debate, a convention
was signed on the eighteenth, between the nuncio and
the seven deputies, whereby it was stipulated " to con-
tinue the cessation till May the 1st, in expectation of
the original of the pope's treaty, and then the nuncio
should ratify what he and Glamorgan would agree on,
that there might be no further delay of an honourable
peace." But this should be no obstruction to the con-
federates treating with Ormond about political matters,
provided they came to no conclusion or publication of
articles, nor proceeded to any alteration of the civil
government, nor did anything to the prejudice of the
transaction between Glamorgan and the nuncio.*

Glamorgan, who Avas now more urgent than ever for
the immediate relief of Chester, took an oath that he
would stand by the nuncio against all opposers of the
pope's treaty, and the nuncio's measures for the good of
religion, and the service of the king — for which end he
promised to procure from France a supply of ships,
arms, and money, which were to be placed at the
disposal of the confederates. This was given under lus
hand and seal the 19th of February. Two days after-
wards the nuncio came to the assembly, exhorting them
to adopt vigorous measures against the parliamentarians,
and promising them a peace within two months. More
than two months had now been consumed in thes


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Online LibraryC. P. (Charles Patrick) MeehanThe confederation of Kilkenny → online text (page 12 of 22)