William Edward Hartpole Lecky.

A history of Ireland in the eighteenth century online

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the writer should be appointed See, too, Lenihan's Hist, of
successor to Dr. McDonagh £it Limerick, pp. 615-617. The
Ennis. The writer says the Scotch Protestant Bishops were
priests of Ennis had sent to the likewise nominated by the Pre-
Chevalier a postulatum, giving in teilder.
order the names of several priests,

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mable economical boon to a country where a large
proportion of the population were often reduced to the
verge of starvation. It would have exercised a moral
influence of a kind peculiarly beneficial to the national
character, and by identifying Irish Catholic names
with great English triumphs, would have reacted very
favourably on the political situation. The remarkable
military capacities of the Irish people were already well
known on the Continent, and Irish Protestants occupied
a considerable position in the British army. The
cavalry regiment of Lord Ligonier consisted almost
entirely of them, and the brilliant part which it played
in the battle of Dettingen was employed by the
advocates of the Charter Schools as an argument in
favour of proselytism.* Archbishop Boulter, however,
who then directed the afiairs of Ireland, while urging
on the Duke of Newcastle in 1726 the propriety of
making Ireland a recruiting ground, did so only on
the condition that the permission should be restricted
to those who could bring certificates of their being
Protestants and children of Protestants.^ The oflBLcers

* Harris's Description 0/ Down or thirty men to be raised in Ire-
(1744), p. 19. Madden complained land at his Majesty's charge,
that * this kingdom has been ter- either Protestants or Papists,
ribly exhausted by sending the provided they be of an extraor-
flower of our people, and our dinary size, to be presented by
Protestant people too, into the his Majesty to the ^Log of Pras-
army, to the loss of many thou- sia ; his Grace has thought fit to
sand heads and families.' — Be- entrust the execution of this ser-
flections cmd BesohiPions, p. 198. vice to Col. Bamsay. . . . Papists

* Boulter's Letters, i. 148. as weU as Protestants may be
There is, however, one very equally useful if duly qualified by
curious instance about this time their stature.' In Oct. 1722,
of the 6K>vemment authorising another order came from the
the enlistment of a few Irish King to enlist more men in Ire-
Catholics. On Aug. 6, 1720, land for the King of Prussia's
Horace Walpole wrote to James life-guards. Departmental Cor-
Belcher : * My Lord Stanhope respondence (Irish State Paper
having recommended it to my Office).

Lord Lieutenant to cause twenty


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CH. n.

were accustomed to make severe inquiries in their
regimentB, lest any doubtful Protestant should have
found his way into the ranks, and several persons
were expelled on a bare suspicion of Catholicism.^

During the long period of their proscription,* the
stream of recruits for foreign armies never ceased.
The Grand Jury of Dublin in 1713 complained bitterly

> There are some papers rela-
ting to this matter in the Infor-
mations and Presentments of
Grand Juries, county Limerick.
Lieut. -Oolonel AUen stated
(1716), *that the colonel and
every officer made it their busi-
ness to find out if there were any
Papists amongst them, and . . .
that several were committed pri-
soners upon suspicion, and
though no certain proofs could
be made of their being Papists,
they were turned out of the regi-
ment ' (Irish State Paper Office).
In 1724 a report had got abroad
that some of the soldiers in the
regiment of Gol. Fleming at Gal-
way went to Mass. CSol. Fleming
wrote to Lord Tyrawly that this
report was *a notorious false-
hood,' and that if there were any
truth in it it could not faU to be
found out. His men, he says,
* go in great formality to church
on Sundays, but if they take any
more of it the week aiter, or go
to either church or Mass but
when they cannot help it, they
are not the men I take them for.
. . . Soon after my arrival here
from Dublin, I had. suspicion of
one Oliver Brown, a recruit, bom
in Hampstead, near London, that
he was a Papist, which I after-
wards discovered by some of the
old men ; the day f oUowing I had

him tried by a regimenhJ court-
martial, who ordered him to be
three times whipped through the
regiment and then to be drummed
out of the garrison, which was
accordingly put into execution'
(June 12, 1724). Irish Record

' It has been more than once
stated (see Eillen's Ecclesiastical
Hist ii. 275) that Catholics were
first admitted into the army in
1757, in the administration of the
elder Pitt; but this assertion
seems to be erroneous. In 1757
the Duke of Bedford wrote that
recruits might be made in the
northern parts of Ireland, but
Uiat the recruiting officers must

* ti^e the utmost care not to en-
list Papists or persons popishly
affected, his Majesty being deter-
mined to show his utmost dis-
pleasure against such officers as
shaU be found to have been re-
miss in their duty in that respect '
(Jan. 29), On March 31, 1759,
he permitted recruits to be en-
listed in any part of Ireland,

* provided they be Protestants,
and were bom of Protestant
parents,' and he enjoined the
Lords Justices 'to prevent Papists
being enlisted in his Majesty's
army.' Departmental Gorre-
spondenoe, Irish State Paper

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of the accounts received from many parts of the coun-
try of daily enlistments, and year after year the same
story was told in numerous informations and complaints
that were laid before the provincial magistrates. In
1721 the Duke of Grafton wrote to the Lords Justices
that information had arrived at the Admiralty that no
less than 2,000 men were lurking in the mountains of
Dimgarvan waiting for ships to carry them to Spain.^
In the same year the Commissioners of Oyer and Ter-
miner wrote from Cork * to acquaint the Lord Lieutenant
and Council that the Papists who have of late been
enlisted for some foreign service have appeared in such
great numbers and in so public a manner that,' as they
say, *we are apprehensive the civil power alone wiU
hardly be able to disperse them.' They ask for troops
to be sent * especially towards the sea-coast, from whence
we have reason to believe at least 20,000 men have
been of late or are now ready to be shipped oflF.' *

Yet it is probable that only a small part of the
movement was known to the Government. The vast
extent of coast fringed by barren and gloomy moun-
tains, inhabited almost exclusively by Catholics, indented
by deep bays and shady creeks, and infested by
smugglers and privateers, rendered enlistment peculiarly
easy, and the flights of the * wild geese,' as they were
called, were for many years almost unimpeded. Very
oftien the corpse of an old woman was followed by a
long train of apparently decorous mourners, to one of
the many secluded churchyards that were scattered
through the mountains, and there, unwatched and un-
suspected, the recruiting agent chose his men and told

' Departmental Gorrespon- cord Office, contain numerous
dence. These papers, as weU as allusions to the enlistments,
the Presentments of Grand Juries, ' Letter from St. John Bro-

and the Civil and Miscellaneous derick and others. Irish Eecord
Correspondence in the Irish Be- Office.

B B 2

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them off for the service of France.^ There were a few
prosecutions, and in 1726 a man named Nowland was
condemned to death, with all the horrid drcumstances
of butchery usual in cases of high treason, for having
enlisted men for the service of the Pretender.* Two
others, named Mooney and Maguirk, were executed in
Dublin for foreign enlistments in 1732 ; ' but for some
time the Government appear to have been so glad to
get rid of the more energetic CathoKcs, that they con-
nived at the movement, provided the emigrants did not
direct their course to a country with which England
was actually at war. The confidential letters of Prunate
Boulter supply clear evidence of this fact. In May
1726 we find him writing to the Duke of Newcastle,
* There seems likewise to be more listing in several
parts, but whether for France or Spain is uncertaiD,
though they pretend the former.' In the same year
and month he wrote to Lord Carteret, * Every day fresh
accounts come to us that there are great numbers list-
ing here for foreign service.' In March 1727 he writes
to Newcastle, * Everything here is quiet, except that, in
spite of all our precautions, recruits are still going ofiE
for Spain as well as for France.' In 1730 we find
traces of a very curious episode illustrating the friend-
ship which at that time subsisted between the Govern-
ments of England and France. An oflScer in the French
service named Hennesy came to Ireland to raise recruits,
and he actually had a letter of recommendation from
the Duke of Newcastle to Primate Boulter. It was
necessary to observe much secrecy so as to escape the
notice of the Opposition in England. The difficulty
was enhanced by the fact that every justice of the peace
was competent to arrest and commit a recruiting agent,

* Information of Gilbert Fitz- Periodical Literatttre, i. 259, 260.
Patrick (county Cork). » DvUm Qazette, Feb. 13-17,

2 Madden's Mist, of Irish 1732.

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who could then only be released in due course of law,
or by a formal pardon ; and it was feared that the zeal
of many magistrates would be stimulated if they knew
that the levies were secretly countenanced by a Govern-
ment with whose politics they disagreed. Boulter urged
these difficulties strongly upon the ministers. He
assured them that as many recruits as they proposed to
allow the French agent to levy had been clandestinely
enrolled annually for several years ; that * all recruits
raised here for IVance or Spain are generally considered
as persons that may some time or other pay a visit to
this coimtry as enemies/ and that the Lords Justices
apprehended serious difficulties fix)m the intervention
of the Government ; and he added, * What has happened
to several of them formerly when they were raising
recruits here in a clandestine way (though as we knew
his Majesty's intentions^ we slighted and^ as far as we
could, discov/raged complaints on that head), your Grace
very well knows fix)m the several applications made to
your Lordship by the French ambassador.' .

The predictions of the primate were verified by the
event. The proceedings of the Government became
known. They were attacked in the * Craftsman,' and
created so violent an explosion of hostile opinion in
England as well as in Ireland, that it was thought
necessary to recall Hennesy as speedily as possible."

* Boulter's Letters^ i. 72, 161- to hope that the levies are truly

174; ii. 30-38. Bishop Nichol- intended for Spanish service

son writes to Archbishop Wake, against the Moors, and are made

Jan. 20, 1721-22 : * Your Grace here hj (at least) his Majesty's

will observe that the Lord Lieu- connivance. If this be the case,

tenant takes no notice in his we have reason to wish that what-

speech to Parliament of the late ever the numbers maybe that are

enlisting of soldiers for foreign already sent over, they might be

service, notwithstanding the great doubly increased, since all that

noise that has been lately made have hitherto been shipped off

against us on that head both in are bigoted Papists.' — British

proclamations and the debates of Museum Add. MSS. 6116.
both houses ; which inclines me

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In 1741 the ' Sieur de la Mar/ an officer in FitzJames's
regiment of horse, was prosecuted for enlisting men for
foreign service in Ireland. The French ambassador
interposed energetically on his behalf, and the Govern-
ment ordered the prosecution to be stopped *in
consideration of the humanity shown by a French
squadron to the crew of the " Wolf" sloop, consisting
of three officers and sixty-two sailors, who were cast
away on an uninhabited island where there was no
fresh water, and rescued by the French.' ^

Of pure politics there was very little. Indepen-
dently of the division between Protestants and Catholics,
there was the conflict between the High Church party
and the Nonconformists. Among the Protestants of
Ireland, soon after the Revolution, and especially in the
reign of Anne, there were a considerable number of
High Churchmen whose opinions in a few cases verged
upon Jacobitism. Dodwell, who was one of the most
learned and most fantastic, and Leslie, who was one of
the most acute and disputatious of the Nonjurors, were
both Irishmen, educated in Trinity College, and Sheri-
dan, the Bishop of Ealmore, threw in his lot with the
same sect. Berkeley, though neither a Jacobite nor a
Nonjuror, maintained the doctrine of passive obedience
hardly less emphatically than Filmer. The systematic
preference of Englishmen to Irishmen in ecclesiastical,
legal, and political patronage was naturally felt with a
peculiar keenness by the educated men of the University,
and its prevailing spirit was in consequence usually
hostile to the Government. Boulter hated it, and,
described it as a seminary of Jacobitism, and there is

^ See a letter from the Duke of Lords Justices. Departmental

Newcastle, May 1, 1742, English Correspondence, Irish State

Becord Office, and a letter from Paper Office,
the Duke of Devonshire to the

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reason to believe that there was some ground for the
imputation. In 1711, a fellow named Forbes was
expelled for aspersing the memory of William, and in
1713 some students underwent the same punishment
for defacing his statue. In the same year, Bishop
Browne, who had formerly been Provost of Trinity Col-
lege, preached and published a very curious sermon,
assailing the prevailing Whig custom of drinking * to
the glorious, pious, and immortal memory ' of William,
on the ground that drinking to the memory of the dead
was a sacramental act, and that the homage could not
without blasphemy be oflFered to a creatine. Archbishop
King complained bitterly of the conduct of some of his
clergy on the accession of George I. There was no
disturbance, but on the first Sunday after the change
sermons were delivered in many churches against
consubstantiation. Lutheranism, the religion of the
new Sovereign, was denounced as at least as bad as
Popery, and the 137th Psalm, describing the emotions
of the Jewish exiles when carried captive by their
oppressors, was sung.^ In 1718, the soldiers quartered
at Waterford were withdrawn by their officers fix)m
the Cathedral Church, on the ground that the preaching
of the Bishop tended to alienate them from the
Establishment.^ Among the many High Churchmen
who were altogether imtainted by Jacobitism was Swift,
who hated the Dissenters with a peculiar intensity, and
wrote with much force and persistence against the
efibrts that were made to repeal the sacramental test.

The existence of this High Church spirit contributed
something to the intolerance shown to Dissenters ; but
there were other causes of a more serious natm^. For
some years after the Revolution a steady stream of

> Mant*s Hist. o/theChurchof denoe, 1718. The Duke of Bol-
Jrela/ndt ii. 275, 276, 291. ton to the Lords Justices. Irish

' Departmental Gorrespon- State Paper Office.

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Scotch Presbyterians had poured into the country,
attracted by the cheapness of the farms or by the new
openings for trade, and in the reign of Anne the Non-
conformists boasted that they at least equalled the
Episcopalian Protestants in Ireland, whUe in the
province of Ulster they immensely outnumbered them.^
In 1715, Archbishop Synge estimated at not less than
50,000 the number of Scotch families who had settled
in Ulster since the Revolution.* Three years later
Bishop Nicholson, writing from Londonderry, states
that this parish — ^which extended far beyond the walls
— ^though one of the most Episcopalian in the province,
contained 800 families of Protestant Nonconformists,
and only 400 of Conformists, while in some of the
parishes in his diocese there were forty Presbyterians
to one member of the Established Church.* But the
political power of the Dissenters even before the
imposition of the test, was by no means commensurate
with their number, for they were chiefly traders and
farmers, and very rarely owners of the soil. In the
House of Lords they were almost unrepresented. In
the House of Commons they appear to have seldom if
ever had more than twelve members. When the Test
Act expelled them from the magistracy only twelve or
thirteen were deprived. In the province of Ulster,
Archbishop Synge assures us that there were not in his
time more than forty Protestant Dissenters of the rank
of gentlemen, not more than four who were considerable
landowners, and, according to Bishop Nicholson they
had not one share in fifty of the landed interest in that

> Eillen's Ecclesiastical Hist. Museum Add. MSS. G116, p. 127.
of Ireland^ ii. 242. * Archbishop Synge*s Letters,

* Synge's Letters, British Mu- p. 36, British Museum Add. MSS.

seum Add. MSS. 6117, p. 50. 6117. Nicholson's MSS. Letters,

» Nicholson's Letters, British p. 157. Abemethy gave a higher

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At the same time they were rapidly becoming a
great and formidable body, and their position was
extremely anomalous. The Toleration Act, which
established the position of the English Dissenters after
the Revolution, had not been enacted in Ireland.
William, it is true, had endeavoured with his usual
liberality to promote such an Act, but Sir Richard Cox
and the bishops, who formed about half the actsh archbishops, re- * He was at this time Bishop

fused her consent. Mant, ii. 192. of Baphoe, but was appointed

» Killen, ii. 214. Archbishop of Tuam in 1716.

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Churchman. Both were men of unblemished integrity,
and of apostoKc zeal, and both were free from all
suspicion of Jacobitism. King had, indeed, done more
than any other Irish Churchman for the Eevolution, and
his undeviating adherence to the Protestant succession
was recognised by his immediate appointment as Lord
Justice at the very critical moment when George I.
ascended the throne.^ Unfortunately, however, both he
and his brother prelate had adopted as the cardinal

His letters, transcripts of which
are in the British Mnsemn, form
a very valuable contribution to
Irish history. Goghill notices the
great popularity of Synge with
file country gentry and the very
important assistance he gave the
Government during the adminis-
tration of Lord Carteret. Brit.
Mus. Add. MSS. 21123 (April 2,

> D'Alton. Mant. It would
be difficult to find a prominent
man in Ireland to whom the
charge of Jacobitism is less ap-
plicable than Archbishop King.
The whole tenor of his life, his
letters, and the unanimous judg-
ment of his contemporaries, at-
test its absurdity. I will quote
one testimony which will pro-
bably be esteemed conclusive.
When he was in violent opposi-
tion to the Gk)vemment on the
question of Wood's halfpence,
the Duke of Grafton, who was
then Lord Lieutenant, wrote to
Walpole describing with much
irritation the trouble King gave
him in the House of Lords, and
proceeded to draw his character.
* He is very indiscreet in his ac-
tions and expressions, pretty un-
governable, and has some wild

notions which sometimes make
him impracticable in business,
and he is to a ridiculous extra-
vagance national.* But he added :
* In justice to him I must inform
you that he is very well affected
to the King, and hearty vn swp^
porting the present settlement of
the Crovm, and an utter enem/y to
the Pretender and his cause* He
is charitable, hospitable, a de-
spiser of riches, and an excellent
bishop, for which reasons he has
generally the love of the country,
and a great influence and sway
over the clergy and biihops who
are natives; to those who are
sent over from England he does
not showmuch courtesy.* — Coxe's
Walpole^ ii. 367. Yet in page
after page of Mr. Froude's Eng-
lish in Ireland, the Episcopal
party, which was led and inspired
by King, is described as Jacobite,
and their Jacobitism is repre-
sented as the reason why they op-
posed the removal of Ihe sacra-
mental test, and occasionally
showed some humanity to the
GathoUcs (e.g. L 252, 254, 883,
385). Mr. Froude has at the
same time withheld all the real
arguments by which they justi-
fied their course.


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principle of their policy the necessity of maintaining
the complete identity, in legal position, of the English
and Irish Churches. A Toleration Act like that of
England they were perfectly ready to concede, but such
an Act was now scornfully repudiated.^ It involved a
subscription to the doctrinal Articles, which was repre-
sented as a sign of servitude and inferiority, and the
Dissenters declared that the only toleration they would
accept was one like that which was enjoyed by the
Scotch Episcopalians. The Test Act, on the other
hand, existed in England, and the Church party main-
tained it to be indispensable for the security of the
Church in Ireland. In 1715, when rebellion was
raging in Scotland, the Irish Presbyterians, with a
very praiseworthy loyalty, and with the fiill assent of
the Government, enrolled themselves in the militia, and
held commissions in it, in defiance of the test, and
the ministers undertook not only to bring in an in-
demnity, but also, under cover of that indemnity, to
strike a fatal blow at the test. They proposed that
the indemnity should be not only retrospective, but
also prospective, covering all who in the future held
commissions in the militia, and all who for ten years
held commissions in the army. The House of Commons

1 * Now we find toleration Act like that of England should
granted in England to Dissenters be passed, which he says would
and we were all willing to grant ttbke away all just canse of com-
the like here.* — King to Arch- plaint, * but,* he adds, • such an
bishop of Canterbury, Dec. 1, Act as this they have ever since
1719. Mant, ii. 339. In another the Bevolution declined, and
letter he writes : * As to granting many of them declared against.*
the Dissenters a toleration such — Archbishop Synge's Letters,
as is granted them in England, it Brit. Mus. p. 47. See, too, a re-
has been offered them again and markable letter from the Duke of
again and it has been refused by Bolton, in Eeid's Hist, of the
their leaders (p. 333 ; see, too, Irish Presbyterians, iii. 216, and
p. 836). So iichbishop Synge &\soSmtVaLetierfromaMetnber
(March 4, 1715-16) writes re- ofParlmmefUontheSacramefUtU
commending that a Toleration Test.

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was strongly in favour of the measure, but King carried
through the House of Lords a Bill confining the in-
demnity to the past. It became evident that the more
liberal Bill would never pass the peers. Both were
accordingly dropped, and the Dissenters were only pro-
tected from prosecution by resolutions of the House of
Commons. In 1719 a Toleration Act like that of
Scotland was at last carried, partly by the assistance
of some English bishops, in spite of the efforts of King
to reduce it to the limits of the English Act, and it
was accompanied by an indemnity securing from
prosecution Nonconformists then holding civil or
military offices, and receiving pay from tiie Crown.^
Similar indemnity Acts were from this time passed
almost every session in Ireland as in England, and
they reduced to small practical importance the griev-
ance of the test. In 1733 Walpole, who was continually
urged by his Nonconformist supporters in England to
take some measure in their favour, and who feared to
provoke the Church feeling which he knew would be
aroused by any attempt to repeal the Test Act in
England, made a new effort to repeal it in Ireland ;
but although Boulter, who then occupied the primacy,

Online LibraryWilliam Edward Hartpole LeckyA history of Ireland in the eighteenth century → online text (page 38 of 44)