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o or a better manner. Sorry e was, however, to observe what that noble and gallant marquis said upon the effect which their lordships ought to attribute to the language which had been held in Ireland, in respect of the privileges that she claimed. Whatever might have been the intemperance of the language, (and he did not mean to deny that it had often been intemperate,) their lordships would do well to remember what it was that had occasioned it, and how many had been the provocations to excite it; for he could by no means agree with the noble and gallant marquis, that no such provocations had existed. All that had fallen from the same distinguished quarter as to the insincerity of the objects which the Roman-catholics of Ireland stated that they had in view, had occasioned him (Earl of Darnley) much suprise; because he should have thought that the noble marquis, from his experience of Irish fidelity, would have been the last person in the world to make such, a charge against the great majority of that people. For his own part, he had never yet heard an argument, or the shadow of an argument, to induce him to swerve from those opinions that he had always entertained in support of this measure. The noble earl then adverted to the Catholic Association. At the beginning of this session, attempts had been made to put down that board by a course of proceedings, not very consistent, undoubtedly, with the forms of the constitution. He could have wished that those attempts had been very differently conducted; and if the government felt called upon to notice the

irritating language complained of, surely it might have proceeded to suppress the Association by ordinary legal means; or to prevent the recurrence of such language by a tone of dignified conciliation. It might have been expected that the government, with that firmness and good sense which ha distinguished its proceedings latterly, would have requested the Association to desist from that irritating tone which was evidently calculated to excite so mischievous an effect. No doubt some intimation of the kind would, in the first instance, have been sufficient. His noble and gallant friend talked of concessions: but he must have forgotten the manner in which the last of these was made. No man among their lordships knew better than the Lord Privy Seal opposite, how they were at first refused. The claims of the Roman-catholics were at that time met with the same arguments and the same answers as they met now. In the summer of 1792, when the government was in a comparatively embarrassed state, the catholics were told that they could not expect such concessions at that time; and the protestants throughout the country pledged themselves that they never would be granted. Within a few months afterwards, however, they were recommended as concessions pro-. per to be granted, in a speech from the throne. How much better a season did the present seem for the extension to the catholics of such further concessions as would put them on a level with their fellow subjects. If it was intended ever to give, them these, let them be given now,

now, in a time of peace, and of national quiet and prosperity; but let not their lordships defer the boon to a period of danger and ofalarm. As to the results of that theological inquiry into the doctrines of the Irish church to which a noble lord had alluded, he (Earl of Darnley) himself recommended the adoption of such an inquiry; but he could not concur in the conclusions which that noble lord seemed to draw from the answers that were elicited in the course of its prosecution. Upon a very recent occasion, their lordships had received information on these topics from the mouths of highly respectable and unimpeachable witnesses. That information was such as their lordships had never had before; for he might say, without any disparagement to noble lords, that they, in common with their countrymen, were for the most part wonderfully ignorant of the people of Ireland and their opinions. The noble lord had, in effect, asserted that the emancipation from their present disabilities, which was claimed by the catholics, was, in truth, a mere pretence, and used only as a stepping-stone towards the ultimate overthrow of the existing institutions of this country in church and state. He (Earl of Darnley) hearing that assertion, could yet scarcely believe his own ears; but speaking, if he were wrong, under the correction of those noble lords who had been present, he would beg to refer their lordships generally, to the undoubted testimony of a great number of unimpeachable witnesses examined before them, who had uniformly and explicitly declared themselves to the contrary of that assertion—

denying the intentions so imputed to them. He could not suppose that the noble lord was influenced by what might be called a feeling of hostility to such respectable evidence; and it was therefore needless to insist upon its weight. As little did he deem it necessary to compare the writings . in the course of the polemical discussions between the catholic clergy and others, with the evidence lately given in the committee that had been alluded to before their lordships. He would not even advert, if their lordships so pleased, to the evidence of Dr. Doyle and Mr. O'Connell; though he would be well content to rest their credibility, not so much on the public reputation of those gentlemen as on that very evidence. He would only say of one of them, that if he had not happened to have been brought up from his cradle in what their lordships were of course accustomed to consider the prejudices of the Romish faith, he would (without hereby intending any sort of disrespect to that right reverend body) have proved no unworthy acquisition to the bench

of bishops. He (Earl of Darnley) would now read a short passage from the evidence of a Romancatholic gentleman, in whose

acknowledged integrity the government had manifested such confidence, that he had been advanced by the lord-lieutenant to a very distinguished post in the Irish exchequer. This evidence was given in respect of another subject—namely, the project for disfranchising the 40s, freeholders. Their lordships would perceive that he was alluding to Mr. Blake. “What effect do you think it


would have upon the protestant interest?—I am satisfied that it would not weaken, but strengthen the protestant interest in Ireland; and I assure your lordships that if I did not think it would have that effect—if I thought it would go to disturb the protestant settlement in Ireland, not one of your lordships would disapprove of it more heartily than I should. The protestant church in Ireland is a great link in the chain which connects Great Britain and Ireland together; and with the security of that connexion, I am satisfied the interests of Ireland are essentially identified.” Now, if he was to be told that Roman-catholic witnesses were not to be believed upon their oaths—if he was to be met with decrees of the council of Trent and other councils, supposed to have the effect of defeating such evidence, but very often totally misapplied, he should have nothing to say: but if this evidence was to be believed, and he (Earl Darnley) was then to be told that emancipation was only the stepping stone of the Roman-catholics, and the overthrow of our constitution their ultimate end, he must give such an assertion the fullest denial. It was true that the immediate effect of passing this bill might be to seat five or six of the most distinguished noblemen and gentlemen of the country in parliament. But if it was to introduce such noble and distinguished persons as the duke of Norfolk and the earl of Shrewsbury, for example, could it be considered as any other than a desirable measure? Why, it was feared that it might introduce also principles of legislation inimical to the doctrine of the established

church:... but were not the shousehold troops opposite him—the lawn legion—were not those right reverend prelates sufficient to preserve the orthodoxy of parliament? If they were to carry their anxiety for orthodoxy much further, they might begin to regulate at last the precise structure of the wigs which those right reverend prelates wore. And he really considered that the preservation of his own hair, or the assumption of a wig by one of that right rev. body, was a matter just as essential to the ascendancy and welfare of the protestant establishment in England, as was the exclusion of the Roman-catholics from any civil privileges that were enjoyed by their protestant brethren. But, besides these securities, did not the protestant establishment possess a host in such vigilant allies as the noble and learned lord on the woolsack, and a noble duke, who brought up with him a whole corps de reserve in this cause 2 The fact was, that political influence must in this country ever follow the majority of numbers and of property; and for this reason it was impossible, absolutely, that either in England or Scotland the Roman-catholic religion should ever again become the dominant one. He was perfectly persuaded that if these claims were finally granted that very night, the next elections would be determined, not by any religious considerations whatever, but by property and its attendant influence. A good deal had been said, about the coronation oath. Now, how it could have entered the heads of any noble lords, or any other persons, to affirm that there was any thing whatever in that oath, as it stood, to prevent and

preclude preclude the king of this country from granting any further civil power to the catholics, he could not comprehend. If their lordships would look at the oath (for he had not a copy at that moment), they would find that in substance it was an oath which rendered it impossible to say that the admission of the catholics to civil power could interfere with those privileges and thatinevitable ascendancy of the protestant church which the king pledged himself to defend. It did, therefore, appear to him that all such apprehensions and alarms of danger were imaginary. At the same time he was ready to admit, that there had been a great number of petitions presented against this bill; to which petitions he was not at all disposed to refuse their due weight. If they were to argue solely on their number, it must be believed that the sense of the country was very much against this bill. But if they looked a little further, their lordships would find that, naturally enough, the protestant clergy had given the example of such petitions; and, in a religious country like this, that example was soon largely followed by the inhabitants of counties, towns, and villages; and petitions of the same kind, very numerously signed, from the cities of London and Westminster, had been presented that night to the house. It was said no improper steps had been resorted to in obtaining signatures to those petitions ; he believed the fact to be so: but their lordships could not be ignorant of the facility with which almost any petitions in a crowded city would be got up; and he would engage, as a proof of it, to procure a petition at a

short notice, and numerously signed, to remove even the hon. and learned lord who presided over his Majesty's councils from his post. The noble earl, after contending that a very different spirit, in respect of the catholic claims, was latterly manifesting itself even among the protestants of Ireland, and congratulating their lordships on a change, in which a near connexion of his own, (Mr. Brownlow), whose worth he would therefore leave to be spoken of by others, had led the way, asked whether there was a single Irish protestant to be found who would lay his hand upon his heart and say, that he believed things could go on in Ireland as they now were? His lordship concluded, by earnestly insisting on the importance of the present time as the most favourable for passing this great measure; and by pointing out the utter inefficacy of the

most numerous garrison we could

ever throw into Ireland to keep it in peace and tranquillity, so long as the claims of her catholic population to equal civil rights were

neglected. The Earl of Longford then addressed the house. Living

constantly among a Roman-catholic population, regarding them highly as individuals, and respecting them as a body collectively, it would be readily imagined that he was most anxious to meet the views of the Romancatholics of Ireland with as much favour as any man. But after very mature consideration, he could not bring himself to think that this bill would answer the sanguine expectations of those by whom it had been introduced into parliament, or that it was a measure that could be put into execution without manifest danger to the constitution. In giving his most decided opposition to this measure, he begged at the same time distinctly to state, that he was actuated by no spirit of hostility to the Roman-catholics. But while he repeated that he held them in very high regard, he must take leave to say that he could not at all see why they were to be admitted to a participation with protestants of certain civil rights and political power in a free protestant country. It had been rather imputed to those who, like himself, were unfriendly to such admission, that they wished to visit with penal consequences their peculiar doctrines: but he desired to observe,that they did not in any degree wish to interfere with the religious opinions; nor did they at all presume to measure the speculative tenets, or to regulate the doctrines of the Roman-catholics; but they were determined that the Romancatholics should not interfere with theirs. The reason of their refusal of such admission was founded upon the political consequences that would follow upon their assent—political consequences that always had ensued, and that in his conscience he believed always would ensue upon conceding those privileges to Roman - catholics which were now claimed by them. Those consequences led to the perpetual interference of the papal authority and influence, nominally in spiritual affairs alone, but actually in the general transactions and ordinary business of life. It had been deposed, indeed, by witnesses examined before their lordships, and by others, that that interference was strictly confined to


spiritual matters and doctrine; but how and by whom was the line to be drawn that was to separate—in the judgment of a Roman-catholic, for example—spiritual from temporal affairs? How could it be supposed, that he who exercised an undoubted and unresisted influence in the one, would not exert it in the other ? or that the power which guided a man's conduct in regard to spiritual things, would abstain from directing it in respect of temporal ones? He was of opinion that the Roman-catholic priesthood were able to lead the people with great facility, and their own constitution was well calculated ever to respect the supremacy of Rome. The commands of the superior to the inferior admitted of no dispute; while the principle of subjection in the inferior was as clearly defined as the right of the superior to his obedience. If they were to be emancipated, therefore, from the acknowledgment of that control recognized by our constitution, while they continued subject to the papal orders transmitted through their own clergy;-to admit to a participation of civil and political privileges those who still refused so to acknowledge a control which was submitted to by our own church, would be to put the Roman-catholic clergy on a higher footing than our own; and more especially when, if he was rightly informed, that control had been submitted to in other countries and cases. Under these circumstances, he could not think that the preamble of this bill was quite fairly worded: it contained a part of the truth, but not the whole truth. It was entitled, “A bill for the removal of the dis


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