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the words “to the said estates” are inserted; and thus the meaning of the second article is wholly altered, and the words “rights, privileges, and immunities," made to refer to the estates of the Catholics, instead of to their persons and liberties, to which only, by the original article, they can refer. If any authority were want. ing to maintain this construction, a very unquestionable one may be adduced from the speech of Sir Theobald Butler, before alluded to, who was in Limerick when it surrendered, and was the person employed to draw up the treaty.
This act for confirming the treaty, wholly omits that part of the second article which guarantees to the Catholics the exercise of their several trades and professions. It also omits the fourth article. It limits the benefit of the indemnity granted by the sixth article to a period subsequent to the 10th of April, 1689, and enables all persons, who suffered any injuries between the 5th of November, 1688, and this period, to bring their actions for the same until the first of September, 1691, by declaring that the commencement of the war referred to in the article, was the 10th of April, 1689, and not the 5th of November, 1688, and it omits the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th articles. Being in short an act that, under the name of conferring favors upon the Catholics, really placed them in a worse condition than that in which they were before it passed into a law.
The other acts of this reign, relating to the Catholics, are, an act to prevent Protestants from intermarrying with Papists,' and an act to prevent them from being solicitors. A clause was introduced in an act for the preservation of game, prohibiting papists from being employed as game-keepers.3
How it is possible to defend William and his ministers from the charge of having acted with perfidy towards the Catholics, it is not easy to discover. That they were guilty of violating the treaty no one can deny. The excuse that has been made for William, that he was obliged to submit to the power of the anti-catholic party, is not sufficient. Why did he not refuse his consent to these laws, on the ground of their being contrary to his solemn engagements to the Catholics ? He had exercised this prerogative in the case of one Scotch, and of one English bill. But even this extremity might have been avoided, because the law of Poynings required that every bill should be approved by the King and Council of England, before it could pass the House of Commons; and if a bill was exceptionable, by withholding their approbation, a very common proceeding, it fell of course to the ground.
19th William III. c. 3.
2 10th William III. c. 13. 3 10th William III. c. 8:
4 For excluding from any public trust all such as had been concerned in encroachments of the late reign.
5 Concerning free and impartial proceedings in Parliament.
But if William and his ministers were guilty of perfidy towards the Catholics, his successor far outstripped him. Nor has any succeeding prince been free from the blame of having been an accessary to his crime, in proportion as he has neglected or refused to repeal those penal laws, which are so many glaring violations of the treaty of Limerick, which are a scandal to the boasted good faith of the English nation, and a mockery of that equitable religion, whose precepts are founded upon the purest principles of justice and humanity.
On the 4th of March, 1704, the royal assent was given to the act to prevent the further growth of popery ; being the first of those two famous acts, which have most deservedly been termed by Mr. Burke, the ferocious acts of Anne.
By the third clause of this act the popish father, though he may have acquired his estate by descent from a long line of ancestors, or by his own purchase, is deprived of the power, in case his eldest son, or any other son, becomes a Protestant, to sell, mortgage, or otherwise dispose of it, or to leave out of it any portions or legacies.
By the 4th clause, the popish father is debarred, under a penalty of 500l. from being a guardian to, or from having the custody of, his own children; but if the child, though ever so young, pretends to be a Protestant, it is to be taken from its own father, and put into the hands of a Protestant relation.
The 5th clause provides that no Protestant shall marry a Papist, having an estate in Ireland, either in or out of the kingdom.
The 6th clause renders Papists incapable of purchasing any manors, tenements, hereditaments, or any rents or profits arising out of the same, or of holding any lease of lives, or other lease whatever, for any term exceeding 31 years. Even with respect to this advantage restrictions are imposed on them, one of which is, that if a farm produced a profit greater than one-third of the amount of the rent, the right in it was immediately to cease, and to pass over entirely to the first Protestant who should discover the rate of protit.
The 7th clause deprives Papists of such inheritance, devise, gift, remainder or trust, of any lands, tenements, or hereditaments, of which any Protestant was, or should be seized in fee simple, absolute or fée tail, which, by the death of such Protestant, or his
merick. In the course of the three campaigns, during which the war lasted in Ireland, the English army had been defeated on several occasions. In the North under Schomberg ; before Athlone under Douglas; and before Limerick under William himself. The victory of the Boyne was the result of the personal failings of James, not of any deficiency in the number of his army, or of any want of courage on their part. “ Exchange Kings,” said the Irish officers, “and we will once more fight the battle.” St. Ruth had won the battle of Aughrim, and had exclaimed, in an ecstasy of joy, “ Now will I drive the English to the walls of Dublin,” at the moment the fatal ball struck him.' And, at the time the garrison of Limerick capitulated, the Irish army was in a condition to hold out at least another campaign, with a good prospect of being able to restore the fallen fortunes of James. The besieging army had made no impression on the principal part of the city, it was inferior in numbers to that of the garrison ; winter was fast approaching, and at the very moment French succours were on the coast, yet all these advantages did the Irish army forego, in consideration of the terms which were granted to them by the treaty of Limerick. On the other hand, in granting these terms, the English Government and Nation obtained advantages of the utmost importance. For so long as James had a powerful army in Ireland, and nearly one half of the kingdom under his dominion, the great work of the revolution was neither accomplished nor secured. The fair way, therefore, of judging of the value of the treaty of Limerick to England, is to consider how far it contributed to promote this inestimable object. If the treaty of Limerick, in any degree, led to the establishment of the revolution, the vast importance of this event should incline the people of England to act with justice, at least, towards the Catholics. But if their submission contributed essentially to crown the brilliant efforts of the friends of liberty with success, then indeed the people of England should feel zealous to act towards the Catholics, not on a cold calculation of what was merely just on their part, but with that kindness with which we always regard those who have promoted our prosperity, whether intentionally or not. That the submission of the Irish Catholics did so contribute to complete the revolution is plain, from the means which they possessed of continuing the war ; from the opportunity it afforded William to bring his whole forces to bear against Louis ; and from the termination it fixed to the hopes and the conspiracies of the adherents of James in England. Yet, not. withstanding the great concessions which the Catholics, on their part, made by their submission, in order to obtain the terms of the
treaty of Limerick, and the great advantages which the English nation, on the other hand, acquired by it, twelve years only elapsed before the Catholics were deprived of every right and privilege which was solemnly guaranteed to them by that treaty.
The only species of justification that could, under any circumstances, have been brought forward for acting in this manner towards the Catholics, would have been, the proof of the forfeiture, by misconduct, of their right to the fulfilment of the treaty. That any thing which they did prior to the treaty, could have, in justice, any influence on measures passed subsequent to its taking place, is quite impossible ; because the treaty admitted their acts to be those of open and honorable enemies, and specifically pardoned them." As to their conduct afterwards, even their most inveterate and most unprincipled enemies did not charge them with a single transgression against the State, from the year 1691 to the year 1704, when the act to prevent the farther growth of Popery was passed. And it is very plain that no such charge could be maintained, from the paltry attempt that was made in Parliament to justify this act. It was said, “That the Papists had not demonstrated how and where, since the making of the articles of Limerick, they had addressed the Queen or Government, when all other subjects were so doing; and that any right, which they pretended was to be taken from them by the bill, was in their own power to remedy, by conforming, as in prudence they ought to do; and that they ought not to blame any but themselves.”. No circumstance can possibly illustrate more clearly the innocence of the Catholics, and their loyalty and good conduct, from the treaty of Limerick to the passing of this act, than this mockery of justification ; nor could any thing bring to our understandings an accurate comprehension of the perfidy and baseness of that Government, and of that Parliament more distinctly, than so silly an excuse for such stern and crafty oppression.
I “The peculiar situation of that country, (Ireland)” says Macpherson, seems to have been overlooked in the contest. The desertion, upon which the deprivation of James had been founded in England, had not existed in Ireland. The Lord Lieutenant had retained his allegiance. The Government was uniformly continued under the name of the Prince, from whom the servants of the Crown had derived their commissions. James himself had, for more than 17 months, exercised the royal function in Ireland. He was certainly de fucto, if not de jure, King. The rebellion of the Irish must, therefore, be founded on the supposition, that their allegiance is transferable by the Parliament of England. A speculative opinion can scarcely justify the punishment of a great majority of a people. The Irish ought to have been
considered as enemies, rather than rebels."— Hist. Great Britain. 2 Debates on the Popery Laws.
STATE OF THE POLICE
By GEORGE B. MAINWARING, Esq.
Preventive justice is, upon every principle of reason, of humanity, and of sound policy, preferable in all respects to punishing justice.
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(Concluded from No. XXXVIII.]