§ Sir Henry Parnell
rose, pursuant to notice, to move "that a Copy of the Treaty of Limerick be laid upon the table." Many petitions had, he said, been presented in the course of the present session from the Roman Catholics of Ireland, in which they prayed for a restoration of the civil privileges of which they had been deprived on account of their religious opinions. These petitions stated, that the laws and statutes by which the Roman Catholics were deprived of their civil rights had been, framed in direct violation of the compact entered into between the Irish nation and king William 3rd, the conditions of which compact were comprised in the Treaty of 991 Limerick. When so numerous and important a body as the Catholics of Ireland made statements like those in the petitions presented to that House, he thought the document referred to ought to be before the House, in order that hon. members might understand whether or not those statements were well founded. It was not his intention upon the present occasion to trouble the House with many arguments on the import or particular construction of the articles of the Treaty of Limerick; but there were facts and circumstances connected with the execution of it, which should be stated, in order that the nature of the document might be clearly understood. Many hon. members might think that the Treaty referred to nothing more than the quelling of a popular insurrection, and to a victory easily gained by regular English soldiers over an unprincipled rabble; and that king William 3rd had only to send an army to Ireland to subdue it; but if they examined into the occurrences that preceded the treaty they would find it to be a very different transaction. How did the case stand? Until the period of the Union, Ireland had been an independent country, wholly independent of England, with which she was connected only by the circumstance of her acknowledging that she owed allegiance to the same king. When the Revolution of 1688 took place in this country, James 2nd was expelled, not less for political than for religious reasons; the people of Ireland, being Roman Catholics continued that allegiance to James which his English subjects had withdrawn: accordingly, they acknowledged him for their king, and recognized his authority.
He repeated, it would be found that until the Union, Ireland was a perfectly independent country; and when the Protestant Revolutionary party of this country thought proper to dethrone king James, the people of Ireland did not feel the same necessity, and they continued to acknowledge him as their legitimate king. Lord Tyrconnel, at that time lord lieutenant of Ireland, carried on the government on behalf of James, as the government of an independent State. In August 1689, king William sent his first army to Ireland. The time passed away without any thing being done, in consequence of the sickness of the troops, till the July of the next year, 1690, when the battle, of the Boyne was fought, and a 992 victory gained over James by the English forces. In that year an attempt was made by William to take the city of Limerick, but he was repulsed from the walls by the garrison; James's army still amounting to thirty thousand men. It was not till the month of August, 1691, that the second siege of Limerick was commenced, under general Ginkle; the garrison held out, and defended the city from that period to the October following, when they capitulated, and that Treaty was signed which formed the subject of the present motion.—Thus it appeared that the conquest of Ireland occupied a large army, amounting to about thirty thousand men, successively under the command of William and the most distinguished of his generals, for a period of two years and two months, from the first landing of the English forces to the surrender of Limerick. At the time of that surrender, the affairs of James 2nd were not so desperate as might be supposed; for several towns were still held by his garrisons, and five of the largest counties in Ireland were more immediately in possession of his adherents. Under such circumstances, the House well knew what must have been the value of the surrender of Limerick to the English forces—it was, in fact, not merely the surrender of Limerick which then took place, but the surrender of all Ireland. Let it be recollected also, that at this very time, a French fleet was in full sail to the assistance of the Irish—was, in fact, in the channel, with large reinforcements, and arrived three days after the articles of capitulation had been signed. In consequence of this treaty, a body of eighteen thousand men embarked for France, being a part of the army of Ireland. By this treaty were conceded to king William the garrisons, towns, and all the territory hitherto held for James, by his adherents, in that country, and the regal authority of William was acknowledged. Thus, he said, the Irish people, notwithstanding they had expectations of support, gave up the king of their own religion, and acknowledged the authority of William.
The House would remember that by this treaty William not only acquired possession of Ireland, but obtained a confirmation of the Settlement acts of the Revolution of 1688. The latter circumstance must have been the more acceptable to William, as at that period the party of James was exceedingly powerful, not 993 only in Ireland, but also in England —a state of things the more dangerous to William, as he was frequently obliged to be absent from his more immediate territories, on account of the contest in which he was engaged with Louis 14th. About this period, William's forces and those of his allies had sustained considerable reverses when opposed to the French troops. All these occurrences made the settlement of Ireland a matter exceedingly desirable to William; and when that object was accomplished, he was enabled to turn his arms more easily against Louis 14th: and, having placed our foreign relations on a more satisfactory footing, he finally fixed his power on a firm basis, and established that free constitution which the country at present enjoyed. The first article of the Treaty to which he had alluded was the following. Before he quoted it, he should premise, that it was one of the articles on which the Roman Catholics mainly relied—That the Roman Catholics of this country shall enjoy such privileges in the exercise of their religion, as are consistent with the laws of Ireland, or as they did enjoy in the reign of king Charles 2nd, and their majesties, as soon as their affairs will permit them to summon a parliament in this kingdom, will endeavour to procure the said Roman Catholics such farther security, in that particular, as may preserve them from any disturbance on account of their said religion.That, he repeated, was the principal article on which the Roman Catholics relied; but there was another, the 9th, which was also deserving of consideration, and was in the following terms:—The oath to be administered to such Roman Catholics as submit themselves to their majesties' government shall be the oath aforesaid, and no other.It was not the intention to go into any arguments on the purport or construction of this treaty: he would only observe, that the Roman Catholics were secured against any disturbance in the exercise of their religious privileges in the 1st article of the treaty; and that by the 9th article they were only required to take the oath of allegiance to their majesties. Be it remembered, that this was the short and simple oath of allegiance, and not similar to some oaths or declarations subsequently devised, as it embraced nothing except a declaration of loyalty to the reigning monarch.
994 With regard to the circumstances supposed to have occurred since the execution of that treaty, he wished to say that, in his mind, what was advanced against the construction put upon it by the Roman Catholics was not tenable. One of the leading arguments against the efficacy of the treaty, arose out of the length of time since its execution; and the opponents of the Roman Catholics contended, that if they could claim any thing under the treaty, their claim was now obsolete, because they had permitted a long interval to elapse without preferring it. In reply to this, he wished to state, that the Roman Catholics had never permitted any opportunity to pass away of pressing their claims, as founded on the basis of that treaty. In confirmation of this opinion he referred the House to the work of Dr. Currie, on the "Civil Wars of Ireland," where they would find, in the conduct pursued by sir Theobald Buller and sir Stephen Rice, before both Houses of the Irish parliament, in relation to this treaty, a full refutation of the argument referred to. During the administration of lord Halifax, the Roman Catholics applied to be allowed the benefits of the treaty, and in 1792, in their petition and memorial presented to the king, they again refer to these articles, and claim the enjoyment of the privileges promised them. He repeated, there had been no occasion since the period when these. articles were framed, which the Roman Catholics had not embraced, to put forward their claims as founded on the Treaty of Limerick. On their part he might therefore argue, that by their continual reference to the articles of the treaty, they had proved that they had not forgotten the value of the claim which that treaty enabled them to make. Smollett calls the Treaty of Limerick the Charter of the Liberties of Ireland. If so, it is certainly not one of great effect. High authorities might be quoted on this subject, and opinions which would have the greater weight, as they had been delivered in that House. Dr. Laurence, than whom there was no more respectable authority, repeatedly declared his opinion, that the articles of the Treaty of Limerick had been violated by the continued exclusion of the Roman Catholics from the enjoyment of civil privileges on account of their religious belief. Lord Plunkett's sentiments on the subject were similar, as was well known to the House, which had frequently heard them 995 expressed. But he now came to an opinion which carried still more weight along with it, and deserved to be received with the highest respect—he meant the authority of Mr. Burke. The opinion of that great man and profound statesman, as it appeared in the edition of his Posthumous Works, published in 1812, fully corroborated the view which he (sir Henry) took of the case. Up to the period of the publication of the tracts to which he referred, those who entertained similar opinions to those of Mr. Burke on the subject of the treaty, had not had the benefit of his authority; at least, were unable to quote it in an authentic form. He would now read a few lines from Mr. Burke's tract on the Popery Laws, contained in the 9th vol. of the 8vo. edition of 1812:—It will now be seen, that even if these (the Popery) laws could be supposed agreeable to those of nature in these particulars, in another, and almost as strong a principle, they are yet unjust, as being contrary to positive compact, and the public faith most solemnly plighted. On the surrender of Limerick, and some other Irish garrisons in the war of the Revolution, the lords justices of Ireland, and the commander-in-chief of the king's forces, signed a capitulation with the Irish, which was afterwards ratified by the king himself by inspextinces under the Great Seal of England. It contains some public articles relative to the whole body of the Roman Catholics in that kingdom, and some with regard to the security to the greater part of the inhabitants of five counties. What the latter were, or in what manner they were observed, is at this day of much less public concern. The former are two—the first and the ninth. The first is of this tenour:—'The Roman Catholics of this kingdom (Ireland) shall enjoy such privileges in the exercise of their Religion, as are consistent with the laws of Ireland, or as they did enjoy in the reign of king Charles 2nd, and their Majesties, as soon as their affairs will permit them to summon a parliament in this kingdom, will endeavour, to procure the said Roman Catholics such further security in that particular, as may preserve them from any disturbance upon the account of their said religion.' The ninth article is to this effect:—'The oath to be administered to such Roman Catholics as submit themselves to their Majesties' Government shall be the oath aforesaid, and no other, viz.— 996 the Oath of Allegiance made by Act of Parliament in England, in the first year of their Majesties' reign, as required by the second of the Articles of Limerick.' Compare this latter article with the penal laws, and judge whether they seem to be the public acts of the same power, and observe whether other oaths are tendered to them, and under what penalties. Compare the former with the same laws from the beginning to the end, and judge whether the Roman Catholics have been preserved, agreeably to the sense of the article, from any disturbance upon account of their religion; or rather, whether, on that account, there is a single right of nature or benefit of society which has not been either totally taken away, or considerably impaired.These were the opinions of Mr. Burke on the subject of the Treaty of Limerick, and of the treatment which the Roman Catholics had experienced, and he sincerely trusted, that before the subject of the Catholic claims came regularly under discussion, honourable members, previous to giving their votes, one way or the other, would take the trouble to recur to those opinions of Mr. Burke, and, assisted by the light they afforded, endeavour to come to a correct judgment on that important topic.
He had now little more to say, and should only refer shortly to what tended strongly to confirm his views, in regard to this subject; namely, the nature of the arguments used by the opponents of the Roman Catholics. He was prepared to assert, that the weakness of those arguments afforded to his mind as strong a conviction of the propriety of conceding the Roman Catholic claims, as did the cogency of the arguments adopted by those who held the same sentiments as himself. He repeated, that if he could wish for any thing to confirm the view he had taken of the Treaty of Limerick, it would be found in the arguments used by those writers who took a different view of the question. There was a pamphlet of Mr. Arthur Brown, formerly member for the University of Dublin, who gave a construction of the article different from that which he (sir Henry) had stated; but he had been able to discover nothing in Mr. Brown's arguments that did not confirm, rather than weaken, the construction usually put upon the Treaty. Among other violent opponents of the Roman Catholics was the late Dr. Duigenan. That learned gentleman wrote against the view taken by 997 the Catholics of the Treaty of Limerick; but he confessed that the learned doctor's arguments had no other effect upon his mind, except to confirm his conviction of the accuracy and justice of the construction put upon the Treaty by the friends of the Roman Catholics.
There was another topic to which he had already alluded, but, if the House would permit him, he would again recur to it. The length of time that had elapsed since the Treaty was agreed on, had been urged as an argument why it could not apply to the present occasion. And it was also inferred, that the acquiescence of the Roman Catholics in the disabilities imposed upon them, or at least the fact of their forbearing to urge the provisions of the Treaty, as arguments against deprivation of civil rights, afforded a conclusive proof that they could not rely upon the provisions of the Treaty. Before arriving at this conclusion, the House would do well to take into its consideration the state to which Ireland had been reduced by the Penal-laws, and the condition in which the Roman Catholics had been placed by their operation. Under these laws, the Roman Catholics were deprived of all political power, and reduced to such a state of degradation as almost to justify him in saying, that they were deprived of the use of their understanding. Such was the condition of the Catholics under the operation of these laws, the effect of which was to inflict on them civil death, from the reign of queen Anne up to the relaxation of the penal code. Considering that this was the state of the Catholics from 1703 to 1793, or within a few years of that period, it was not wonderful that they acted as they had done. If, in all that time, it so happened that they had never referred to the Treaty of Limerick, or attempted to claim under it those privileges which they now pretended it guaranteed, the circumstance was by no means incapable of explanation, when their degraded situation was considered, and when it was recollected what was the nature of the grievances which pressed upon them.
He again expressed his opinion, that it ought not to be wondered at if, during that long period, no great effort was made on their part to enforce their claim. That period, then, ought to be put out of consideration, for the population of Ireland was oppressed and stupefied by the weight of the penal code. As soon as 998 their moral and political feelings were restored, as soon as they thought they could perceive any hope of getting rid of the burthen that weighed them to the earth, they put forward their claims, founded upon the articles of this Treaty; claims which he contended were now as good as they were on the first day when the Treaty was entered into. Mr. Burke had stated it to be his conviction, that the faith of England was solemnly plighted to Ireland by the Treaty of Limerick; that the king was bound to observe the articles of that Treaty, and that the enactment of the Penal-laws was a breach of a distinct promise given at the time of the capitulation of Limerick. Fortified by this opinion he should not add anything of his own to weaken the force of the authority. He would only say, that the faith of England was plighted to afford the Irish Catholics relief; and, if possible, compensation for the evils inflicted on them. The hon. baronet concluded with moving, for "a Copy of the Letters Patent wherein the Civil Articles for the Surrender of the Treaty of Limerick in the year 1691 were ratified and exemplified by king William the 3rd and Queen Mary."
§ Mr. H. Grattan
said, he rose to second the motion, and he did so in the persuasion that the case of the Catholics of Ireland would be made out by the document, Indeed, he had not a doubt upon his mind but that if twelve honest men were placed at the bar to decide on the meaning of the articles, they could not hesitate to adopt the interpretation for which the Catholics and their friends contended. The question, as it appeared to him, resolved itself into a mere matter of fact: it was merely whether such a Treaty had ever been completed; for on the meaning of the terms there could be no dispute. He thought at the same time that his hon. friend would fall short of his object if he persisted in confining his motion to the civil articles; for there were two copies of the Treaty originally published—one in Ireland, and the other in England; and it was curious to observe that the one printed in London omitted to state that the king had sanctioned them. This had, to him, the appearance of an intention, from the beginning, to break through the articles. Such conduct was not without example in the transactions of this government. The Crown had disowned what its servants had done for Ireland, both in the reigns of 999 Elizabeth and of Charles 1st, when money was refused which had been voted for public purposes. They ought, therefore, to have the two documents before them, in order to show that at the very outset the Treaty was conceived in a spirit of insincerity. The first article stipulated, that the Catholics should enjoy their religion without obstruction. What was the meaning of that? It did not merely mean that they should be permitted to enter their chapels, and worship according to their own forms; nor did it mean that their clergy should dress in canonicals according to the institution of their order; but it meant, if it meant any thing, that the people should not be injured in their civil rights on account of the religion they professed. But what was the state of the law of Ireland at the time? He would deny that it contained any statute excluding Catholics from sitting in parliament.—He would next advert to the privileges enjoyed by the Catholics in the time of Charles the 2nd. The House would be surprised to hear that the only mode in which Catholics were prevented from coming into parliament was by a simple resolution of the House of Commons. Such a resolution could not be considered law, any more than other resolutions of the same period. There was a servile appeal of a committee of the Irish House of Commons to the Lords Justices, recommending that Catholics should be driven, not only out of the House but out of the town. Such was the spirit of legislation at that period: and would the House believe that the same parliament had passed an act, calling upon the Catholics to surrender themselves within three days at the walls of Dublin under a penalty? Such was the act completed by two traitors sitting in the castle of Dublin, and aided by a profligate and corrupt parliament. He asked whether that was a law which any man could rely upon as a bar to the articles of the Treaty of Limerick? But what, during this time, was the conduct of the House of Lords? For, unless it could be proved that they had acted pari passu with the House of Commons, it would seem as if they had doubted the propriety of the proceedings of the House of Commons. And there was no. room for hesitation on this point, for this resolution would be found upon their Journals—"Resolved, that a bill be introduced to make valid the resolutions of the House of 1000 Commons with respect to Roman Catholics." The absurdity of such a measure was only equalled by its illegality. The House of Lords again met in 1641, and there was no allusion to be found in their Journals to the ceremony of administering the oath of supremacy. The same was the casein 1642,1643,1644,1645, and 1646; and yet it was now contended, that to exclude Roman Catholic peers from sitting in parliament was not a violation of the Treaty of Limerick, because they had not enjoyed that privilege previously to it. He would show the want of foundation for such an assertion by reference to another resolution on the Journals of their lordships' House. On the 20th of May, 1661, it was resolved that all the lords, who were members of the Church of England, should be at the cathedral of Christ-church by a certain hour, to receive the communion. Now, what was the meaning of this resolution, supposing that there were no lords, save those who were members of the Church of England, in the House? But on the 7th of June, 1661, a resolution was passed, which entirely removed all doubt upon the question; for it was then ordered, that all the lords who were members of the Church of England should, when they were absent from prayers, pay a fine of Is.; and that all the lords who were Roman Catholics should, if absent a quarter of an hour after prayers, were ended, also pay a fine of Is. Now, after these entries upon the Journals of the Irish Houses of parliament, could any man. doubt that the Roman Catholics were accustomed to sit there as members down to the reign of Charles 2nd? If, then, they enjoyed that privilege up to that time, could any man pretend to argue, that when the Treaty of Limerick secured to the Catholics-all such privileges as they enjoyed in the reign of Charles 2nd, it was not violated; when the privilege of sitting in parliament was taken from them? It was said, however, that the Treaty of Limerick was only intended to protect the Irish inhabitants of the city and county of Limerick, and the adjoining counties. But there was evidence to rebut that notion, which he thought would have great weight with gentlemen on the other side of the House. The evidence to which he alluded was that of bishop Burnett, who was, as every body knew, deep in the confidence of king, William. Bishop Burnett, in that part of his work which related to the Treaty of- 1001 Limerick, used these expressions:—"Those of Limerick treated not only for themselves, but for all the rest of their countrymen that were yet in arms. They were all indemnified and restored to all that they had enjoyed in king Charles's time. They were also admitted to all the privileges of subjects upon their taking the oaths of allegiance to their majesties, without being bound to take the Oath of Supremacy." He would here state, that the Irish oath of allegiance was not like that taken in England, coupled with the Oath of Supremacy; and in the 9th article of the Treaty of Limerick, it is distinctly stated, that the oath to be administered to such Roman Catholics as submit to their Majesties' government, shall be the Oath of Allegiance and no other.—He would here state, that if it were necessary to adduce further proof that Roman Catholics had seats in the parliament of Ireland previously to the Treaty of Limerick, it was to be found in the letters of lord Orrery, and in the memoirs of colonel Allardyce. The latter gentleman, who was an Englishman, and had resided for upwards of twenty-five years in Ireland, had left behind him a list of the peers who sat in the parliament of 1681, and had placed the names of the Protestants in one column and those of the Catholics in the other. In the list of Roman Catholics were seven earls, and several viscounts, two of whom, lords Louth and Iveah, had been actually given as hostages by the Catholics to king William in return for colonel Coutts, and three or four other English people, who had been given as hostages by king William to the Catholics for the due observation of the suspension of hostilities during the negotiation preceding the Treaty of Limerick, which lasted from the 27th of September, 1692, to the 4th of October in the same year. The length of the negotiation, added to the fact that the garrison would not sign the Treaty, till the justices had come from Dublin to examine it, was a proof that the garrison were particularly anxious that the Treaty should be worded in an accurate legal form. He might also say, that king William had himself shown great anxiety on obtaining the execution of this Treaty; for, on his receiving the intelligence of it, which Ginckle sent express to him in Ireland, the Tower guns were fired, and other symptoms of joy exhibited for the entire settlement of the kingdom, as he believed it was at that time called in the 1002 Gazette. He must apologize to the House for the length of time which he had intruded upon its attention. He had made no appeal to their passions, because he conceived that such appeals were rarely calculated to produce conviction on subjects of this nature; but he would venture to implore them, by all that was dear to man, not to lose sight of the present condition of Ireland. It was idle to suppose that things could remain in that country in their present situation. No country was so terrible to live in as Ireland. He should always be prepared to support the Protestant establishments of that country; but he would rather be hacked in pieces himself, and see his children mangled round him, than forswear his hostility to the Penal-laws which oppressed his Catholic fellow-subjects. The country had recently been told, that those laws were to be continued. Scarcely had the tocsin of that annunciation been sounded in Ireland, before the Roman Catholics met peaceably and simultaneously in every parish within its confines, and immediately on their being called to pay the tax levied upon them for the expense of getting up petitions for the repeal of those laws, the Catholic rent rose from 40l. and 50l. a week, to 800l. in the first week, 600l. in the second, and 500l. in the third. He repeated it, scarcely had the triumvirate, which recently acceded to the Cabinet, got safely into their seats, before the Catholic rent swelled 5,000l. in amount. Could a system which produced such effects on the population of a whole country, last much longer? Was it not mischievous in the highest degree? Was it not calculated to impair and destroy the attachment which ought to subsist between England and Ireland? He should not trouble the House further at present, as another opportunity would shortly arise in which he could give his opinion more fully on the subject of Catholic Emancipation. He trusted that, when that opportunity should arrive, hon. gentlemen would sacrifice their differences of opinion on the altar of their country, and would permit the incense of their harmony to ascend to heaven as a propitiation to their God for the offences they had committed against their fellow-countrymen.
Mr. Secretary Peel
said, that whatever credit the hon. gentleman might claim to himself for discretion, he thought that he would not obtain it, if he claimed it for a 1003 temperate, dispassionate, and conciliatory consideration of the claims which the Roman Catholics had under the Treaty of Limerick. He would not be provoked by the example of the hon. gentleman to travel out of the record then before the House. He would rather pursue the course which had been recommended by the hon. baronet in originating this motion, and would postpone to another opportunity an examination of the legitimate import of the wording of that Treaty: for he agreed with him in thinking, that if that Treaty was to be discussed on a future opportunity, the most expedient course for hon. members to take would be to move for the production of the Treaty now, and to reserve their sentiments upon it until the period of the promised discussion. When he came into the House that night, he was perfectly prepared to acquiesce in the motion of the hon. baronet. He had no objection whatever to the production of the Treaty, and if the hon. baronet had moved for it without adding a word, he should have acquiesced in the motion with equal silence. But whilst he made that statement, he was obliged by the speech of the hon. member for Dublin to add, that having studied very carefully the words of the Treaty, and having referred very industriously to the construction put upon it in the works of cotemporary writers, he had come to a decided conviction that no privilege was at present withdrawn from the Catholics, which they had the power to claim under that Treaty. He was ready at any time to discuss that question temperately and dispassionately; but he must say, that, having resorted with great diligence to all the cotemporary sources of in ormation, he was convinced, not that the Treaty of Limerick had not been violated by the statute of queen Anne—but that the privileges which were now claimed for the Roman Catholics could not be demanded as a matter of right under that Treaty. The hon. gentleman had said, that certain persons were inclined to consider that Treaty out of date, owing to the length of time which had elapsed since its ratification, and to argue that whatever might have been the stipulations of it at the time, the Roman Catholics of the present day had no right to claim any benefit from them. Now, he would frankly declare that, if any such persons did exist, he was not one of them. He did not mean to say that no reference ought to be made to the political considerations which might have grown up 1004 since the ratification of that Treaty and that an over-ruling necessity might not have justified parliament in deviating from the strict sense of its stipulations. His view of the question of Catholic emancipation would certainly be altered, if he could bring himself to believe that the Roman Catholics had resigned certain advantages, which they held at the time of signing that Treaty, upon the faith of receiving others which were now withheld from them. In resorting to that treaty, he thought that the real question which the House had to decide was simply this—were the Roman Catholics admitted by it to seats in parliament? The hon. gentleman had referred to two articles in the Treaty of Limerick,—the first and the ninth,—which he says opens to the Roman Catholics of Ireland all the privileges which they had in the reign of Charles the 2nd, upon their submitting to take the Oath of Allegiance, "I am surprised," said Mr. Peel, "that the right hon. gentleman should say, that by the terms of the ninth article, it was evidently the intention of king William to leave the privileges of the constitution as open to the Roman Catholics as to the Protestants of Ireland. The first article is couched in these terms:—'The Roman Catholics of this kingdom shall enjoy such privileges in the exercise of their religion, as are consistent with the laws of Ireland, or as they did enjoy in the reign of king Charles 2nd; and their Majesties, as soon as their affairs will permit them to summon 3 parliament in this kingdom, will endeavour to procure the said Roman Catholics such further security in that particular, as may preserve them from any disturbances upon the account of their said religion.' And. the ninth article, on which the hon. gentleman also relies, is worded thus:—'The oath to be administered to. such Roman, Catholics as submit to their Majesties' government, shall be the oath above said, meaning the Oath of Allegiance, 'and no other.' Now, to what class of persons do these two articles refer? Not to the whole Catholic population of Ireland, but to those persons mentioned in. the second article) who should submit to take the Oath of Allegiance to his majesty's government. And what are the terms of the second article? That ' all the inhabitants or residents of Limerick, or any other garrison now in the possession of the Irish, and all officers and soldiers now in arms under any commission of king James or those authorised; by him 1005 to grant the same, in tire several counties of Limerick, Clare, Kerry, Cork, and Mayo, or any of them [and all such as are under their protection in the said counties,] and all the commissioned officers in their majesties quarters that belong to the Irish regiments now in being, that are treated with, and who are not prisoners of war, or have taken protection, and who shall return and submit to their majesties' obedience, and their and every of their heirs, shall hold, possess, and enjoy all and every their estates of freehold and inheritance, and all the rights, titles, interests, privileges, and immunities, which they and every or any of them held, enjoyed, or were rightfully and lawfully entitled to in the reign of king Charles 2nd, or at any time since by the laws and statutes that were in force in the said reign of king Charles 2nd.' And then follows, as I before stated, the ninth article, which states the oath that shall be administered to those who seek to obtain these immunities. Now, I ask the hon. baronet, whether it is possible for him to contend, upon the language of those articles, that all the Roman Catholics of Ireland are to be admissible to seats in parliament, on merely taking the Oath of Allegiance? If it be, as he contends, what reason does he give for the government of king William inserting an article in the Treaty which should place the Roman Catholics of Ireland even on a more favourable footing than their Protestant countrymen? But it is quite plain that the version which the hon. baronet has put upon these articles cannot be correct; for what says the 7th article of the Treaty? 'Every nobleman and gentleman comprised in the said second and third article shall have liberty to ride with a sword and case of pistols, if they shall think fit; and keep a gun in their houses for the defence of the same, or for fowling.' Is it possible to suppose that such an article could have been introduced into the Treaty, if it had been intended to admit every nobleman and gentleman, to a seat in parliament, on his merely taking the Oath of Allegiance? Now, let me ask the House to look at the state of Ireland at that time; for as this is a question of dry law, and unconnected' with political considerations, we may look at it without any of that warm political feeling which intrudes itself too often in spite of ourselves into Our debates, when we look at the present state of Ireland. It is argued, that it was intended fey; the first article of the treaty of Limerick 1006 to admit all Catholics into parliament on taking the Oath of Allegiance. Now I think that there is sufficient evidence to shew that neither of the contracting parties to the Treaty of Limerick, contemplated the possibility of admitting Roman Catholics into parliament. For, as I asked before, what was then the condition of Ireland? The treaty was signed in 1691, and a parliament had been sitting in Dublin, under the authority of king James in the latter part of 1689. I will not ask of what description were the? acts of that parliament, for I wish not to introduce any irritating topics into the debate but I will ask of what persons did it consist? It consisted of 241 members; it sat for two years, and during all that time it had only six protestants in its numbers. Now, is it possible to conceive, that with the experience of that parliament before him, king William would have been so impolitic as to allow Roman Catholics to sit in parliament, upon such terms as the hon. baronet has represented? It seems too great an absurdity to suppose that, when the Roman Catholics had for some time been excluded from parliament by the Oath of Supremacy, a matter of such importance as their re-admission to it would be settled at once without any discussion, and under such a general form of words as that 'they shall enjoy such Privileges in the exercise of their Religion as are consistent with the laws of Ireland.' Why did not the Roman Catholics, with all th6 legal talent which they had at their command—for sir Toby Butler was with them at Limerick —get the words ' political privileges' inserted in the Treaty, supposing that king William was willing td grant them such extensive political privileges as were now claimed for them? Why did they not insert some form of words which would have avoided all cavil as to the extent of their privileges, re-fleeting, as they must have done, on this importance of having them clearly and positively defined? —But I have another reason for saying that the possession of such privileges, as were now asked for them, was never in the contemplation of the Roman Catholics of Limerick. Does the hon. baronet recollect the terms on which they insisted previously to the signing of the Treaty? The House will, perhaps, excuse me for shortly recapitulating them. Previously to the capitulation of Limerick, the Roman Catholics sent a proposal for a cessation of arms to general 1007 Ginckle. It was granted. The next day they submitted their proposals to him in the seven propositions following:—'1st. That their Majesties will, by an act of Indemnity, pardon all past offences whatever; 2nd. All Irish Catholics to be restored to the estates of which, they were seized or possessed before the late Revolution; 3rd. To allow free liberty of religious worship, and one priest to each parish, as well in towns and cities as in the country; 4th. Irish Catholics to be capable of holding all employments, civil and military under the Crown, and of exercising all trades, professions, and callings whatsoever; 5th. The Irish army to be kept on foot, and received in their present condition into their Majesties' service, in case they be willing to serve their Majesties against France or any other enemy; 6th. The Irish Catholics to be at liberty to reside in cities and towns corporate, to be members of corporations, and to exercise all corporate franchises and immunities; 7th. An act of Parliament to be passed for ratifying and confirming these conditions.'—Now I think it is quite evident that the conditions which the Roman Catholics then asked for are by no means equal in importance to those which the Roman, baronet says were granted to them by the 9th article of the Treaty which was subsequently concluded. And what does the House suppose was general Ginckle's answer to them? The propositions submitted to him were so extravagant that he refused to grant them. He said that, though he was almost a Stranger to the Jaws of England, he could see that they were equally inconsistent with those laws and his own honour. Having rejected them for these reasons, he ordered a new battery to be erected against the town, and at the same time sent in twelve propositions to the besieged, stating that he would grant them those terms and no others. The hon. gentleman opposite has said something about additions made to the Treaty on its ratification by king William, of which I heard for the first time this night with a very considerable degree of surprise. I shall say nothing upon it at present, except that I hope that this motion will include every syllable connected with this ratification. I wish that hon. gentlemen, before we come to the discussion of this Treaty, would read the argument of sir Toby Butler upon it. For they will then 1008 find, that, when sir Toby appeared in the year 1702, at the bar of the House of Commons, to argue against a bill which was then passing through it, he did not say one word respecting the injustice of excluding Roman Catholics from seats in parliament. At least such is my present belief. The House will find his argument at length in 'Plowden's History of Ireland;' and also in the ' Historical Apology for the Roman Catholics,' by Mr. William Parnell. The hon. gentleman opposite has referred to the authority of bishop Burnett, with the intention of showing that he conceived that the garrison of Limerick treated not only for themselves, but for all the rest of their countrymen who were in arms. He says that bishop Burnett was high in the confidence of king William, and that his testimony was most important on that particular point. I must here entreat the House to give me its attention whilst I state one fact In the year 1692, I think it was immediately after the ratification of the Treaty of Limerick, the Oath of Supremacy was required to be taken in the Irish parliament, by an act passed in the English parliament. I am not now called upon to say whether such an act was legal. All I say is, that it was acted upon in the Irish parliament. Bishop Burnett—the very bishop whose testimony the hon. gentleman deems so conclusive—with a full knowledge of that circumstance thus commences the third volume of his history—'I now begin on the 1st of May 1705, to prosecute this work, and I have now before me the reign of king William and queen Mary.' He was therefore at that time perfectly well aware of the construction put upon the Treaty of Limerick, and the practice which prevailed under it. He states the manner in which the Roman Catholics had entered into that treaty, and then he proceeds, after the quotation which had been made imperfectly by the I hon. gentleman, to observe that ' the articles of the capitulation were perfectly and impartially executed, and that some doubts which had arisen out of the ambiguous manner in which the treaty was worded, had been explained in favour of the Irish Catholics.' That is the construction put upon the treaty by a person whose authority is declared by the hon. gentleman to be most cogent, because he was in the immediate confidence of William 3rd. If, then, the due execution of the 1009 Treaty of Limerick is to be decided by the authority of bishop Burnett, we must conclude that the stipulations of it were faithfully executed, and that the ambiguous parts of it were explained in favour of the Irish Catholics.—I am un-feignedly sorry, that the hon. baronet, who brought forward the motion, and also the hon. gentleman who seconded it, have entered at present into argument upon the construction of the Treaty; for the subject embraces topics, and is connected so closely with documents that appeared at the time of the treaty, that it is impossible to discuss it as we ought, without some previous deliberation. I have looked at the subject, at different times, with great interest and attention, because I wished to consider it fairly and impartially. From all I have read upon it, I have a strong impression on my mind, that at the time of signing the treaty, it was not in the contemplation of either of the contracting parties, that the Catholics should be allowed to claim under it admission into parliament, or into the high and efficient offices of the State. I admit that the passing of the Penal-laws was a violation of that treaty, and that if it were not justified by circumstances at the time, it was a violation for which no sufficient excuse could be alleged. But I say, at the same time, that no privilege is now withheld from the Roman Catholics of Ireland, which they have a right to claim in consequence of that treaty. That is the view which the Catholics took of their condition in 1793, when the first act was passed for their relief and benefit, and that is the view which I believe to be the correct one. I do not mean to say that the ancient date of the treaty is any bar to the faithful execution of it at this moment. If I were satisfied that the object of that treaty was to admit Roman Catholics into parliament on merely taking the Oath of Allegiance, I should be so far from thinking that the age of the treaty was of no avail, that I should permit it to have full influence on my judgment, whenever the Roman Catholics came to this House to ask for the fulfilment of their claims. I am, however, satisfied, by reference to cotemporary documents, that the Roman Catholics of Ireland have no claim upon us from the Treaty of Limerick; and that being my opinion, I shall not say one word on the general question, until it is brought regularly under our consideration."
§ Mr. Spring Rice
said, he claimed equal credit for sincerity with the right hon. gentleman, when he declared his firm belief in favour of a different construction from that which the right hon. gentleman had put upon the articles of this great national stipulation—a treaty, not contracted, as lawyers would say, without a consideration, but which at once transferred to king William the full possession of the kingdom of Ireland. How happened it, that when the right hon. gentleman depended so much upon bishop Burnett's authority in behalf of his opinion that no violation of the treaty had taken place, he had overlooked the strong fact, that at the very time the bishop was writing, in 1705, some of those penal laws, which were infractions, had actually been enacted?
§ Mr. Spring Rice
said, that was true, but in point of date, the bishop was engaged in writing the work after 1704, when some of those penal acts had actually passed. That horrid act against the education of Catholic children —the most wicked that ever disgraced a statute book —had previously passed under the cognizance of bishop Burnett. Both the law and the fact were upon this point against the historian. But the bishop was good authority in another part of his work, where he spoke of the occurrence of direct facts under his own eye, and stated, in plain terms, that so intent was the government to obtain an end to the war in Ireland, that the commissioners were instructed to keep their terms in good faith (alluding to this very treaty), "to the no small grief," says Burnett, "of some English who wished to ruin the Irish for their own purposes." The passage in Burnett was as follows:—"When they came to capitulate, the Irish insisted on very high demands, which were set on by the French, who hoped they would be rejected; but the king had given Ginckle secret directions that he should grant all the demands they could make that would put an end to the war. So every thing was granted, to the great disappointment of the French, and to the no small grief of some of the English, who hoped this war would have ended in the total ruin of the Irish interest. Those of Limerick treated not for themselves alone, but for all the rest of their countrymen who were yet in arms. They were 1011 indemnified, and restored to all that they had enjoyed in king Charles's time. They were also admitted to all the privileges of subjects upon their taking the oath of allegiance to their majesties without being bound to take the oath of supremacy." By the first article of the treaty of Limerick, or of Ireland as it was more properly described, the Catholics were restored to all the privileges which they had enjoyed in the time of Charles 2nd, to be admitted to all the privileges of all the other subjects, without taking any other oath except the Oath of Allegiance. All the privileges constituted a comprehensive description, and necessarily included the right of sitting in parliament—a right subsequently and violently taken away, by the enactment which added two oaths to the qualification by the Oath of Allegiance. The articles in the Treaty were these:—"1 The Roman Catholics of this kingdom shall enjoy such privileges in the exercise of their religion, as are consistent with the laws of Ireland, or as they did enjoy in the reign of Charles 2nd, and their majesties, as soon as their affairs will permit them to summon a parliament, will endeavour to procure the said Roman Catholics such further security in that particular, as may preserve them from any disturbance upon the account of their said religion."—"9. The oath to be administered to such Roman Catholics, as subjects to their majesties' government, shall be the oath aforesaid (of allegiance) and no other."—He would here take the opportunity of referring to a curious tract which threw some additional light upon this subject. It was entitled "Great Britain's Just Complaint for late Measures and present Sufferings,'' a Jacobite tract, by W. J. Montgomery, printed by Ralph, and reprinted in Lord Somer's Tracts:—"The prince has taken as. large and broad steps towards a dispensing power as any that can be charged on king James. The Irish treaty furnishes us with a convincing proof of this, where such indulgences were granted to them solely and singly by his own authority, with relation to the exercise of their religion, dispensation from oaths, &c, as were directly contrary to the laws of the land/and the safety, rights, and privileges of the protestant subjects of that kingdom. This treaty I do acknowledge was afterwards ratified by parliament, but the new life commenceth only from the date of their sanction," "But," said the right hon. 1012 gentleman opposite, "did not the original rejection of the Irish proposals involve a striking contradiction of the supposed construction which was now contended for?" Certainly not; for what were the original propositions? The Irish proposals rejected by Ginckle were, free liberty of worship; Papists to be eligible to all employments civil and military; Irish army to be kept on foot and paid; corporations opened, and a public establishment of a priest for every parish. These were what Ginckle rejected; and surely they were very different from those for which the supporters of the Treaty of Limerick now contended.
—"No; what General Ginckle said, was, that these propositions were contrary to the laws of England."
§ Mr. Spring Rice
resumed and said, so it was, to have an Irish priest established in every parish: if he did not mistake, the right hon. gentleman had, on a former occasion said the same; and sure he was that the earl of Liverpool had made such a declaration, when the motion was made for assigning a stipend to the Catholic clergy. That noble earl had then said, that such a demand went to the overthrow of the Protestant religion, and to a breach of the coronation oath. Turning to the conduct of general Ginckle, it would be seen, that on the 1st of August, 1691, the government had addressed a letter to him, urging him, in the strongest terms to put an end to the war in Ireland. The letter from Coningsby to Ginckle, of the 1st of August, 1691, represented how absolutely necessary it was for the affairs of Christendom, that the war in Ireland should be ended this summer. He represented how averse people were generally from giving the Irish any conditions, but that such persons did not consider the misery of the country, and less understood the circumstances of affairs abroad. At that time there were two contending parties in the field-councils of the different armies. There were in the Irish camp a French party, urging them on to extreme demands; while with Ginckle there was an English party, insisting that the Irish should receive no terms short of confiscation. Between these two inflamed parties the Irish government were desirous of moderately mediating. "But," said the right hon. gentleman, "see the length of time which elapsed before any complaint of this kind was made respecting the alleged in- 1013 fraction of the Treaty." To this assertion he would reply, that so far from no complaint having been made, the very earliest opportunity when a question arose was taken by sir Toby Butler and sir Stephen Rice, when the privileges secured by the Treaty were denied to the Catholics. Sir Toby Butler was heard against the clauses of the act prescribing the declaration and oath of abjuration contrary to the 9th article, and he said, that "the 15th prevented Catholics from voting for members of parliament unless they take the oath of abjuration, which to oblige them to is contrary to the Limerick articles, which says that the Oath of Allegiance and no other shall be imposed on them. And if there was no law in force in the reign of Charles 2nd against these things as there certainly was not, and if the Catholics have not since forfeited, as for certain they have not, these clauses are against the articles, and a violation of the public faith." This was an answer, and a complete one to the right hon. gentleman's statement, that they had made no complaint fresh upon the infraction of the Treaty. If there was no law, as there certainly was not, in the reign of Charles 2nd, to exclude Catholics from parliament, and if they had not since, as was equally clear, forfeited their rights under this Treaty, then the case was clear in their behalf, and the articles of the Treaty had been violated. This doctrine had, he repeated, been broached at the bar of that wicked parliament which had violated the immutable principles of justice, as well as the solemn faith of treaties. Notwithstanding such a departure from right and law, the speech of counsel remained on record as a protest against the injustice. The right hon. gentleman said, why did not the Irish at the time appeal to the English throne, or parliament? Who ever heard of the voice of the weak and the prostrate being raised against the strong in the zenith of their power? and to whom could they have appealed? To that parliament who had heard Molineux's celebrated book ordered, to be burnt, who had voted the Irish linen trade a nuisance. To the parliament of Ireland he had shewn they had already appealed. Was it to king William, whose situation was so difficult at the time, that he could scarcely venture to do justice to the Catholics of Ireland without encouraging the Jacobites in England, who were seeking to sap the foundation of his throne? William's govern 1014 ment was not then powerful enough to enable him to consult in this particular instance his feelings of justice. The government of William was well described by Somerville, as composed of persons associated in administration, and placed in responsible offices, but alienated from each other by former animosities, and actuated by incompatible interests, they entered not into any previous concert, and often differed publicly in opinion. Hence arose procrastination, inconsistency, and feebleness, in the executive branches of government. "Potestne in tam diversis mentibus pax aut amicitia esse?" He hoped there was no government subsisting at this time deserving the same character. For if there were, neither the English, the Irish, nor any other class of his majesty's subjects, could expect any very strong or useful measure to emanate from their hands. He was as ready as the right hon. gentleman to praise many of the great names who had figured in king William's government. The master of the Mint, for instance, of that monarch was the illustrious sir Isaac Newton. Still, that government was paralyzed and perplexed by contending difficulties, and compelled to be neutral in many instances where they ought to have been more just. He had trespassed thus long upon their attention, from his deliberate conviction, that his construction of the Treaty of Limerick was the only just one. One of his own ancestors had been engaged in preparing it, and his fellow-countrymen claimed the fair benefit of so solemn an enactment. Respecting the Oath of Supremacy, he begged to say a few words. That oath was never enjoined to be taken, according to any law, by any member of the Irish parliament. Resolutions of the Houses had been certainly voted, but these in themselves did not constitute law. In the reign of Charles 2nd, the parliament had nothing at heart so much as the exclusion of Catholics. On the 14th of May, 1661, a committee was appointed to consider how the oaths of allegiance and supremacy may be taken by all who are or may be hereafter members of this House. On the 15th May, 1661, a committee was appointed to attend the lords justices to pray the issue of a commission to administer the Oath of Supremacy. On the 21st of May, 1661, a committee was appointed to request the primate to appoint persons to administer the sacrament to the members 1015 of the House. On the 3rd of March, 1662, a committee sat to prepare the heads of a bill disenabling members to serve in parliament that shall not take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and also heads of a bill against popish hierarchy; and on the 17th of March, 1662, heads of a bill against popish hierarchy, were reported singly; also English laws against popery referred to a committee. On the 10th of April, 1663, major Ormsby reported the heads of a bill enjoining oaths of supremacy and allegiance; and there followed a petition to the duke of Ormond, that the provision made by law, in England, hath tended to the preservation of the peace, &c.; and that since the government is the same, the necessities of both the same, the reasons of state the same, and such as doth require the same laws; in consideration whereof we offer to your Grace the heads of a bill declaring who shall take the Oath of Supremacy. On the 21st of May, 1663, the prorogation continued to the 26th of October, 1665; and in August, 1666, the parliament was dissolved. So that up to the declaratory law of 1782, none of these acts had received the sanction which was necessary to make them binding. It was a curious thing to find the Irish parliament endeavouring to enforce an English statute as binding, while they were at the very time inquiring what other laws of England were fit to be re-enacted: thus, in the one case, adopting, as a matter of course, to serve a particular passion, what in the other they were determined only to have after it had received their own legislative sanction. He concurred with the right hon. gentleman in wishing that there existed any great legal tribunal before which this case of the Treaty of Limerick could be tried. If any man doubted the construction for which he contended in behalf of his country, let him consider the relative positions of the parties who were at the time engaged in the conflict. The one the weaker party, who had, with honourable and scrupulous fidelity, fulfilled its hard terms, though at the very moment had they agreed to this fulfilment, a French reinforcement had arrived in the river with succour: yet, notwithstanding this solemn adherence to their plighted faith, at the same moment a prelate was found, from the pulpit of a church in Dublin, to inveigh against keeping faith with the Irish, because they kept no faith themselves. It was always a principle in the construction of treaties, that they 1016 should be construed in favour of the weaker party; he appealed to the British parliament to give the descendants of those who had so faithfully observed their part of the stipulations the benefit of their contract. He appealed to that great military captain who was at the head of the present Administration, and who was conversant with treaties made in the field, for his aid in doing justice to his fellow countrymen. From the days of king William to the present the violation of this Treaty had been complained of, and he, lastly, implored justice for those to whom it had been so long denied.
§ Mr. G. Moore
said, he did not mean, in discussing this question, to inquire whether the Treaty had been punctually fulfilled, but he would view it as res integra as if it were a question coming for the first time before the House. He would not consider it as a question for a jury, nor would he decide it by any strict and technical construction; but would view it as a great political question, which it was competent to judge, not by the literal meaning of the words, but with reference to the intentions of the parties. He would first call the attention of the House to that part of the subject on which so triumphant an answer had been given by his right hon. friend, as to the ninth article, by which it was provided, that all the Roman Catholics who submitted to king William should take the Oath of Allegiance, and no other. He contended that, if the provisions of the Treaty had been so extensive as the hon. gentleman who spoke last, and the hon. baronet, were disposed to contend, it would have been wholly unnecessary to make additional provisions for those numerous classes of Catholics whose situation was particularised and provided for in the other articles of the Treaty. If the provisions of the articles to which he alluded were so extensive, then he must say, that the provisions of the second article, granting to all trades, professions, and callings of the Catholics the free use and enjoyment of their respective rights, must be considered wholly superfluous, if the parties themselves were of opinion that they came fairly within the operation of the ninth article. The hon. gentleman then proceeded to argue, that the whole of the articles, notwithstanding all that was said to the contrary, must be considered as referring solely to religious liberty, and not to political privileges. In support of this opinion 1017 he read an extract from the journal of the rev. George Storey, in which were to be found the provisions of an amnesty proposed by the lords justices to the Irish, several years before the Treaty of Limerick, and which amnesty, it was observed, contained all the provisions afterwards granted under the formal Treaties of Limerick and Galway. The hon. member concluded by observing, that he had carefully abstained from touching upon any subject which could excite any feelings of irritation. He had merely argued the question with reference to the general understanding upon historical documents. Of these documents he took a very strong view, and he most earnestly hoped, that the hon. baronet would see the propriety of moving for a copy of the Declaration of the Justices of Ireland at the time to which he alluded, in addition to the copy of the Treaty of Limerick.
§ Mr. A. Dawson
said, he could not avoid saying a few words in reply to the right hon. Secretary. That right hon. gentleman had observed, that the parliament of James the 2nd was composed exclusively of Catholics, to the number of two hundred and forty members. That parliament afterwards attainted all the Protestants in Ireland, and confiscated their estates. Nothing, however, could be more absurd than to argue that a parliament, elected afterwards in Ireland, was likely to be composed wholly of Catholics. On the contrary the boroughs and counties of Ireland, which were settled as protestant, and in which the protestants had a preponderance, were so numerous that the parliament must have afterwards had a clear majority, both in the House of Lords and Commons. It appeared, indeed, by a work of a colonel Lawrence, that in the year 1680, there were seventy-nine Protestant peers in Ireland, and only thirty-two Catholic. When, therefore, the contending parties negociated at Limerick, there could not have been any fear of the consequences from the granting political privileges to the Roman Catholics. No danger could possibly have been apprehended from the predominant influence of the Catholics in the-parliament of Ireland. That question, indeed, never came before Ginckle, because BO such idea ever entered the heads of those who were called upon to negociate. It was true that the conditions first proposed to Ginckle were returned, because they were inadmissible; but other conditions 1018 were afterwards allowed, not much worse than those originally offered. Ginckle, however, was a Dutchman, and knew too well how to drive a bargain, to accept the first proposition which was offered him. It was absurd, however, to say, that these conditions had any reference to seats in parliament. Offices civil and military were mentioned, but then it was well known, that civil and military offices did not comprehend seats in parliament. Seats in parliament were not mentioned, because the Irish knew they had that privilege already. Ginckle knew it too. He knew that the Protestants had a majority in the House of parliament, and he knew that there was no danger to the Protestants from the Catholics continuing to sit in that parliament. There was another point upon which he wished to say a few words. The right hon. gentleman had not attempted to account for that most remarkable resolution of the lords upon the subject of prayers. All Protestant peers were compelled to attend by 10 o'clock to hear prayers, under the pain of forfeiting a shilling; but, as they knew the Catholics could not attend these prayers, a certain time, a few minutes or so, was allowed them to attend under the forfeiture of another shilling. Now, if there were no Catholic peers in the House, what was the meaning, of that resolution? It could be considered as little better than a mere Irish blunder, to make resolutions apply to Catholics, if no Catholics were members of their lordships' House. The right hon. gentleman had observed upon the fact of gentlemen being allowed to carry a carbine and pistols; but that referred solely to the officers of the army, and not to Catholic gentlemen in general. The hon. member then proceeded to refer to the assertion, that the terms of the Treaty of Limerick had been strictly complied with, and admitted that they had been punctually adhered to, because the Catholics were allowed to sit in parliament; and this he took to be one great reason why no mention of the matter was to be found in the speech of sir Toby Butler at the bar of the House of Lords. That speech referred only to some particular infringement of the Treaty; and sir Toby, beside that he had no reason to speak to the point of seats in parliament, well knew that he would have been stopped by the lord Chancellor, if he had attempted to enter upon a branch of the question which was not contained in the petition 1019 he appeared to support. If any of these things could raise a doubt in the mind of the right hon. gentleman, he had expressed a determination to give the question further consideration; and it was to be hoped, that if such doubts were once raised, the right hon. gentleman would allow his doubts to incline to that side which was favourable to the people of Ireland.
§ The motion was then agreed to.