HC Deb 04 August 1835 vol 30 cc66-71
Day of —18— (Statute of Will. III.) County of *District of—

"By virtue of this Authority,

Our well-beloved Brother ORANGE-MAN of the Purple Order (and each of his Successors) is permitted to hold a LODGE, No., in the County and District above specified, to consist of TRUE ORANGE-MEN, and to act as MASTER and perform the requisites thereof.

(County Seal.) Given under our Great Seal. (Great Seal.)

Countersigned by

County Grand Master

I am authorized to state, on the part of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, that a marching warrant only differs from this,* in the district being filled up thus, "District of— Regiment."


Here were the names of two Members of the House who were office-bearers of this association, namely, H. Maxwell and A. Perceval. The rules for private Lodges were worthy of notice, and were as follows:— No private Lodge shall be held without the authority of a warrant from the Grand Lodge, signed by the Grand Master, a Deputy-Grand Master, the Grand Secretary, Deputy-Grand Secretary, Grand Treasurer, and Deputy Grand Treasurer, and countersigned by the Grand Master or Deputy-Grand Master of the county, and sealed with the seals of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, and of the Grand Lodge of the county in which such Lodge shall be held. All applications for warrants shall be made through the district Lodges to the county Grand Lodge, to be thence forwarded to the Grand Lodge of Ireland, under their respective seals, transmitting therewith the sum of 1l. 1s. with renewals, the sum of 5s. But the rules for military Lodges were of still greater importance. Indeed the establishment of Orange Lodges in the army was a great misfortune, full of danger, which ought to excite the immediate attention of Parliament. A regimental Lodge was considered to be a district Lodge, and sometimes there were two or three of them in one regiment. In 1814 the Grand Lodge directed that all Lodges in regiments should be district Lodges. It was said that this rule had been since altered. Now, he could show by the evidence of Mr. Blacker, that in 1824 no change in the rule was made; for that gentleman read out of book, bearing that date, the following rule:—"That regiments are to be considered as districts, and that masters of regimental Lodges shall make yearly returns of the numbers." This was after the Duke of York had issued his order of July, 1822, against the establishment of Orange Lodges in the army. Was not this a violation of the law, and at the same time setting at defiance the rules of military discipline? No man belonging to one of these Lodges could be ignorant of what he was doing, or that he was violating the law. He found, by reference to this volume of evidence, that the following Resolution of the Committee of the Grand Lodge was agreed to:— Moved by Rev. C. Boyton, seconded by Francis Kierman. April 22,1830. That this Committee recommended to the Grand Orange Lodge, at its meeting on the 5th of May, to establish a law that ail warrants in future be signed alone by the Grand Master, his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, by the senior D. G. M. of Ireland, the Grand Secretary of Ireland, and countersigned by the county Grand Master. W. Brownrigg, chairman. T. Nixon, A.G.I. They were also told that blank warrants were signed by the Duke of Cumberland. If any man was placed at the bar for an offence, and said that he was ignorant that it was against the law, the reply would be that he ought to have known the law. It was also the duty of the Duke of Cumberland to make himself acquainted with the state of the law as regarded these associations. It was no excuse for a man who sent a firebrand through the country that he did not know the uses to which it might be applied. Other circumstances tended to show that the illustrious person he had alluded to was not so ignorant of the law as was represented. The grand Orange Lodge had been established in England, and he had been informed that the members were sworn in; his informant told him that he was taken from the dinner table and blindfolded, and led into a room, with a number of idle ceremonies, and sworn in an Orangeman. Subscriptions were entered into by the Orangemen of London to send missionaries to re-organise their institutions throughout the country. The Duke of Cumberland was at the head of this Lodge, and several noblemen were members of it; and he found that so late as last May there bad been a meeting of the Society, at which Lord Kenyon presided. The Resolutions agreed to at this meeting had been brought to him by a man who was present. After this it was perfectly futile to say that the Duke of Cumberland was not aware of the nature of the society. Such was the persecution carried on by these bodies, that a man had told him that he could not act for him as he wished, because he was an Orangeman. The fourth Resolution to which he would next call the attention of the House was to this effect:— That it appears by the laws and ordinances of the Orange Institutions in Ireland, dated 1835, that the Secretary of each private Lodge is directed to report to the Secretary of the district Lodge; the Secretary of each district Lodge to report to the Grand Secretary of the county Lodge; the Grand Secretary of the county Lodge to report to the Deputy Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge in Dublin; and the Grand Lodge to hold meetings at stated periods, to transact the ordinary business of the Society; and the Deputy Grand Secretary of the grand Lodge to communicate half-yearly to each lodge in Ireland, and also to the Grand Lodge of Great Britain. It appeared that the 1,600 local lodges met at stated periods twice a year; the proceedings of each were reported to the respective district lodges, reports from each of which were sent up to the Grand Lodge. The Grand Lodge met at certain periods, and on adjournment appointed a Grand Committee, which met every Wednesday for the transaction of business. Was not this sufficient evidence of the complete organization of this society, and that there was an immediate connection between the extremities and the centre; and that the most ready communication could be made from the one to the other? He could refer the House to several parts of Mr. Swan's evidence in confirmation of this, and particularly to questions 1,304 and 1,509. He could also refer to other documents to show the organization of these societies, and the effect it was likely to have on the peace of Ireland. An advertisement had appeared in one of the Dublin papers respecting the proceedings of the Orangemen of the county of Tyrone, in 1834. It requested that every private lodge would choose a delegate to send to this meeting, to petition against the Government. He brought forward the present Motion in confidence of obtaining the support of the Government. If the Whig Government had done their duty four years ago, they would have put down these societies. They appeared afraid, however, of interfering with them, instead of putting their feet upon them, and trampling them to the ground. These Orangemen were countenanced by so many Members of both Houses of Parliament, and persons in authority, that they imagined that they could break the law with impunity. Deputies from each of the district lodges formed the Grand Lodge. This lodge contained 600 Noblemen and Gentlemen. Mr. Blacker, in his evidence, stated that missionaries were sent by this lodge to Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Glasgow, and other places, for the purpose of organizing Orange societies. One of the rules of the private Lodges was as follows:— In order to establish a fund to defray the expenses of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, each lodge shall transmit a subscription of not less than 2s. 6d. annually to the county treasurer, to be by him forwarded at the same time, with the return of the county grand officers in April to the deputy grand treasurer of Ireland. Mr. Blacker stated, that there was a considerable deficiency in the funds of the chief lodge, as the subscriptions were not paid up. He thought that he had proved this Resolution to the satisfaction of all. The next he had to propose was, That Orange Lodges have individually and collectively addressed his Majesty, both Houses of Parliament, the Lord-lieutenant, and others, on special occasions of a political nature, such as on the subject of the colonies, the change of Ministry, the education of the people, the Repeal of the Union, Catholic Emancipation, and Reform of Parliament. He would leave out of the Resolution the observation about the colonies, as he did not think that it was necessary then to introduce the subject, and he had been told, that his conclusion on the subject was erroneous. The evidence in support of this Resolution afforded an answer to the observations that had been made at the early part of the Session as to his Majesty having given gracious answers to the addresses of Orange lodges, when no answer had been given to addresses coming from the most respectable classes. He found that an active Orange Magistrate had had his name struck out of the Commission of the peace, and he trusted that Lord Melbourne's Government would not only strike out the name of any Magistrate from the Commission of the peace who belonged to this society, but that they would also order them to be tried. To expect anything like justice from such Magistrates was utterly inconsistent with all his ideas of good Government. He found the following order in Mr. Blacker's evidence:— That circulars be forwarded to the several masters of the Orange Lodges in Ireland, requesting them to procure petitions from their several lodges to both Houses of Parliament, against the new Irish Education system, also against the Irish Reform Bill, and to forward them without delay to the right hon. the Earl of Roden, House of Lords, London, endorsed, 'Parliamentary Petition. Was it surprising when such occurrences took place, that they saw the right hon. Member for Dublin University (Mr. Shaw) come down to the House with a multitude of petitions against Irish education, when all these l,600 lodges were directed to send up their petitions. It was well for the right hon. Gentleman to say, that the people of Ireland were opposed to these measures of the Government, but they proved how the opposition was got up. Again, on the 28th Nov. 1828, with a view to oppose the Catholics, the following Resolution was adopted: Resolved, that we deem it essential, for the preservation of our Protestant Constitution, that we should co-operate with the Committee of the Brunswick Club in procuring and obtaining signatures to petitions to be presented to his Majesty and both Houses of Parliament, against further concessions to persons professing the Popish or Roman Catholic religion. Was it possible that the Government could be carried on with societies of this kind thwarting it whenever it proposed measures of useful conciliation. The sixth Resolution he intended to propose was, That the Grand Lodge of Ireland has interfered in political questions, and expelled Members for the exercise of their constitutional and social rights; has interfered at elections, and defended criminal prosecutions, as appears from the evidence and from the minutes of proceedings in the book of the Grand Lodge produced before the Select Committee. In support of this Resolution, he would quote the following passage from the evidence:— Q. 1935. That Mr. Archibald Fisher was expelled the society for canvassing and being an active partisan, and heading processions of bodies of men whose principles may be judged, from their shouting O'Connell and the Repeal of the Union. Q. 1937. That John Hitton was removed from the Committee of the Grand Lodge, for not having voted at the late city election, that being on the 9th of June, 1831. He hoped the noble Lord would be satisfied now of the interference of the Orange society with the freedom of election. Seeing the engines at work it was surprising that there was not more opposition in Ireland to liberal measures. Again, it was resolved, "That Mr. Ex-Sheriff Scott be expelled the institution for introducing Daniel O'Connel at breakfast on political principles which we do not approve." This was a most respectable man, and had been expelled for this trifling reason. He should not object to these societies if they took care that their partizans were properly registered, but they went far beyond this. In proof of what he said, he would merely refer to question 1548 and 1247. Again there was the following evidence:— Q. 1938. That the Grand Committee be directed to remove from the list of officers of the Grand Lodge the name of any person or persons supporting the Reform Bill as proposed by his Majesty's present Government. Q. 1939. That the reverend Henry Cottingham, and the reverend Samuel Wills were expelled the institution on the 8th June, 1831, for sacrificing their principles as Orangemen by voting for the Reform candidates.