§ Mr. Hume
observed, that before the debate was proceeded with, he begged to state that although he had proposed eleven Resolutions on the subject of Orange Lodges, he did not intend to press the adoption of all of them. With the permission of the House, he intended to withdraw the fifth and sixth Resolutions, and only persist in those that had reference to the constitution of Orange Lodges, or to the existence of those associations in the army.
§ Mr. Finch
regretted that the hon. Gentleman did not pursue the prudent course 267 of withdrawing all his Resolutions. At the same time he must protest against being restricted to the discussion of only a part of the question, after the hon. Member for Middlesex had thought fit to make a long speech in which he went at length into the whole matter. Indeed he could not help complaining of the course pursued by the hon. Gentleman; in the first place a notice was given, and a number of observations made in the House on the subject before the evidence taken before the Committee had been printed, and against the wish of the Chairman of that Committee. Then the hon. Member printed his Resolutions some days before they were submitted to the House, and these were circulated very widely throughout the country. Again, the speech with which the hon. Member introduced his Motion had been reported at very great length, and it contained a number of erroneous and exaggerated statements. He objected to the Resolutions as unparliamentary, as unwise, and unfair. It was one of the privileges of the House to direct attention to malversations of those in the highest situation, but this privilege should be cautiously exercised, and certainly there was nothing in the present case to call for the censure or even interference of that House. The hon. Member for Middlesex was not a Member of the Committee, but he had read some statement in a newspaper reflecting on an illustrious individual, and he at once said to himself "Oh, this is enough for me, I'll have a shot at the Duke of Cumberland." That was his great object and therefore the course which the hon. Member had pursued was unparliamentary as well as unsuitable to the season when it was taken. But was there not evidence to show that the Duke of Cumberland was as ignorant as the Emperor of Morocco, or the Great Mogul, when he signed the warrants that they were to be disposed of otherwise than properly? The individual by whom they were misused was, no doubt deserving of reprehension; but surely no man in the country possessed of the least degree of candour would say that the Duke of Cumberland was guilty of more than a very pardonable indiscretion. Signing warrants under such circumstances, he must say, was by no means such an offence as would authorise them to agree to an address to the Crown which might subject an illustrious individual to great and unmerited inconvenience; and he must say that he thought the hon. Member for Middlesex was not justified in stating in the 268 course of his speech that such a proceeding was altogether unparalleled. By the tenth Resolution the Member for hon. Middlesex, proposed that the whole of the evidence taken before the Committee on Orange Lodges should be placed in the hands of his Majesty, but did the hon. Member seriously consider that volumes of such magnitude could be perused by the King? Between eighteen and twenty witnesses had been examined by the Committee, but of these he would select extracts only from the evidence of two, to show that the existence of Orange Societies had tended to the welfare and not to the injury of those parts of Ireland in which they were most numerous. The first witness to whose evidence he should resort for this purpose, though a party man, was an individual whose testimony was entitled to every possible respect and attention, he meant the Earl of Gosford; and the next, the Earl of Caledon, was a man whose entire impartiality would be admitted on both sides of the House. With the leave of the House he should now read an extract from the evidence given by Lord Gosford, commencing with question 3,326 The hon. Gentleman accordingly read as follows:—Your Lordship is acquainted with the composition of yeomanry in the county of Armagh; are there many Roman Catholics in the yeomanry in that county? I believe not.Is there one?—If I were obliged to speak positively, I should say there was not; but it is impossible for me to say; the yeomanry is in a great measure disbanded.Their arms remain with them, with the exception of one corps, do they not? I cannot take upon me to say what steps Government took with respect to their arms; but I believe their aims have remained with them.Have the yeomen taken a prominent part in those Orange processions, or has it appeared from the character and description of the persons that were in those processions, that amongst them many of the yeomnry must have been?—I should think so; but not in the dress, or appearing as yeomen; but that these were men belonging to the yeomanry corps in these processions I believe there is no doubt.Have you not understood that the yeomanry in the county of Armagh were almost all Orangemen?—I should think in certain parts of Armagh they are almost all Orangemen; but I never saw any return; I can only speak from hearsay and belief to that.The hon. Gentleman next read the following passage from the evidence given before the Committee by the Earl of Caledon:— 269There are far more Orangemen in the north than in the south of Ireland? I believe there are.Property is considered more secure in the north than in the south, and consequently more valuable? I believe it is.Are there more manufactures in the north?—I believe so.The people are in a better condition?—I believe they are, but I am very little acquainted with the south.Landlords have not been so deprived of their influence in the north as in the south?—I believe not.Upon the whole, the north of Ireland of late years has been less disturbed than the south?—Ithink there has been less excitement, less agitation there.Does your Lordship recollect in your own county of Tyrone, or any neighbouring county within the last thirty years, an Insurrection Act being in force?—No Insurrection Act has been in force in the county of Tyrone, or in any neighbouring county, within the last thirty years.'Every species of matter, the hon. Member continued, theological and otherwise, had been introduced into this report, and all this the hon. Member for Middlesex wished the Crown to wade through. The proceeding, however, was most unwise from the beginning to the end, but although the report was nothing more nor less than a parcel of mutilated evidence, as anomalous as it was extraordinary, still something like the truth might be gained from it, as he had shown by the two passages which he had read. To these extracts he would add a third, from the evidence of Mr. Sinclair, a lawyer, whose impartiality no one who heard him could doubt. This Gentleman said, most decidedly that the people of the north of Ireland were better conducted than the people of this country, and after speaking of the general effects of Orange Societies, the examination of Mr. Sinclair proceeded:—
The people of England are supposed to be in general the most obedient to laws?—I declare I do not think so, I think quite the reverse; the Trade Unions and things of that kind have not led me to that conclusion.You would consider the people of England better disposed than the people of the north of Ireland?—No. I would not change with them either Catholics or Protestants.Do you consider that the people of the north of Ireland are more peaceable than the people of England?—No; but I think our population, including Protestants and Catholics, in my part of the north of Ireland, are much better conducted, and much freer from crime than the people in England, and the returns of the Assizes will show that.270You would hardly say that the people in the south of Ireland are more orderly than the people of England? No, I never said that, nor thought it.You have already stated that the people of the north of Ireland are more peaceable and well conducted than the people of England?—I think so.And you have stated that the people in the north of Ireland are more orderly and well conducted than the people in the south of Ireland?—Yes, and that the people of the north of Ireland are more orderly and more peaceable than the people of England.The people in the north of Ireland, which is the stronghold of Orangeism, are better conducted, it appears, than the people of England where there are no Orangemen, and the people of the south of Ireland, where there are comparatively few Orangemen?—Certainly.You are aware, of course, that about seven-and-twenty years ago, there were very serious riots in London, when Sir Francis Burdett refused to obey the Speaker's warrant?—Yes. I heard of that; and since that frequently.You will perhaps recollect that the Life Guards were obliged to fire on the people, and that several lives were lost?—I recollect it.Perhaps you are not aware that 7,000 troops were marched up to London, and cannons placed in all the squares at that period?—Ithink I recollect that.Perhaps you can recollect that at that period there was a war in Spain, and those troops might have been wanted for the Spanish campaign?—Unquestionably.It would appear, then, that the people of London are quite as strongly tinged with party feeling, and quite as disposed to insubordination as the people in the north of Ireland?—I know nothing of their feelings; but I think they are a thousand times more insubordinate than the people of the north of Ireland.Here, then, was evidence to show that the people of the north of Ireland, the strong-hold of Orangeism, were a thousand times more orderly and peaceable than the people of London, and a million times more orderly and peaceable than the people of the south of Ireland; and, upon the authority of the Earl of Caledon, he was justified in saying that though the liberty of the subject had been suspended in the south of Ireland for almost the last thirty years no part of the north had been placed under the provisions of the Insurrection Act during the whole of that period.
What a contrast, also, there was between the present state of the North and South of Ireland. In 1828, when the whole of the South of Ireland had entered into the 271 most dangerous conspiracies and combinations against the Government, the North was perfectly tranquil. The feeling in favour of repeal had advanced in the South of Ireland, but had never made the slightest progress in the North. He was satisfied that a great deal of the animosity now manifested against the Orangemen originated in their opposition to repeal. The hon. Member for Kilkenny had given notice of a resolution, to the effect that no person being a member of the Orange society, or any such like association, bound by obligations of secrecy, and confederated together upon principles exclusive of any class of his Majesty's subjects, ought to hold any office connected with the administration of justice. At the first view of this resolution it might appear to be very fair, and the hon. Gentleman might consider himself a mirror of impartiality. Did he, however, in his motion, intend to include others than Orangemen? Did he intend to apply it to Freemasons? If he did, the hon. Member for Middlesex might feel it to be his duty to come down with articles of impeachment against the Duke of Sussex as the head of that society. If he were asked which was the least secret society in the country, he should say it was the Orange association, for all their books, documents, and signs, had been made known to the House and the country. Under these circumstances he was at a loss to understand how the hon. Member for Kilkenny could bring forward his motion. But it was said, that this was a secret association, and that it was liable to a charge of uncharitableness for excluding certain classes of his Majesty's subjects. Of course it was an exclusive society, but not more so than Brookes's was against the Tories. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin had founded a society he called the Anti-Tory Association, and of which the hon. Member for Kilkenny was a member. He did not think that the Orange Society was more exclusive than this. The Orange Association admitted all denominations of Protestants as members, and they necessarily excluded Catholics, because one of the chief objects of the institution was the maintenance of the Protestant religion. Catholics could not consistently join in the promotion of such an object. After this, he would only recommend the hon. Member for Kilkenny to light his pipe with his resolution instead of troubling the House with it. He could not help alluding to a most unfair circumstance attending the dis- 272 cussion on this question, namely, that every instance of misconduct on the part of Orangemen that had occurred in the course of forty years was grossly exaggerated, and exhibited in all possible forms to the House. Would it be fair on the part of any person objecting to the representative system of government, to impute to it all the disturbances that had taken place in England for a long series of years? Was it fair to say, because disturbances had taken place at elections, that they were necessarily attendant on them. This, however, was exactly the course of proceeding that had been adopted with reference to the Orange Lodges. In the North of Ireland, a great number of the yeomanry and police were Orangemen, and they were intrusted with arms, and mainly contributed to keep the peace. In that part of the country there were but few troops, while in the South it was necessary to maintain a large army, as the inhabitants could not be intrusted with arms. It was untrue that the institution of Orangemen had produced either religious bigotry or religious feuds in Ireland, and in proof of this he had only to mention, that the Association of United Irishmen existed four years before the first Orange Lodge in that country was established. The Association of United Irishmen was formed in 1791, and the first Orange Lodge in the North of Ireland was not established until 1795, and its institution was the result of self-defence, and these facts he proved by a reference to "Plowden's History of Ireland" and other authorities. In fact, Ireland was in a frightful condition. Four years before the establishment of the Orange Lodges, the Society of United Irishmen was founded, the ostensible object of which was the promotion of Parliamentary Reform and Catholic Emancipation; but the real object, according to Wolfe Tone, was the separation of Ireland from England. The object the founders of the Orange Association had in view, was to prevent that rebellion, the promotion of which the United Irishmen were attempting. The hon. Gentleman here read long extracts from the speeches of Lord Clare, in 1800; of Mr. Pitt, in 1805, when he moved the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, of Mr. Wyndham, in 1807, who stated on the authority of Mr. Grattan, that there was a French party in Ireland at that period; which fully justified the continuance of Orange Societies, as a means of preserving British connexion. The hon. Gentleman 273 proceeded to show the existence of societies in Ireland, from that period to the present, which had in view objects not consistent with the constitutional principles of Great Britain. In the year 1825, the interference of the Catholic Association with the Courts of Justice in Ireland was totally repugnant to the fair and unbiassed administration of the law. There was no period of Irish History more rife with disturbance and insubordination than the years 1821 and 1822. Parties appeared in open day upon the hills, and murder was as openly committed. At this period there was no disturbance in the North of Ireland, whilst in the South eighteen counties were placed under the Insurrection Act, and seven others were about to be proclaimed. The Catholic Association at this period interfered with the Courts of Justice by their paid agents, and even avowed a determination to erect tribunals of their own. A complete organization existed in the South of Ireland, of which, in 1825, the Roman Catholic Priests formed 2,500 members. People might call this a highly-coloured statement, but it was one which he could support by authorities. The hon. Gentleman then referred to the King's Speech for that year, which described the Association as unconstitutional, calculated to create alarm, and to retard the course of good Government in Ireland. He also referred to the speech of Mr. Secretary Canning, to show that the Catholic Association was raising levies, and exercising all the powers of Government. If this opinion of Mr. Canning was not sufficient he would give them that of a noble and learned Lord not now so popular in Ireland as he had been some years ago. The hon. Gentleman also quoted the opinion of Lord Plunkett, to show that the Association set themselves up as the redressors of all grievances, and the advocates of all measures, from Parliamentary Reform to Repeal, and that they interfered with every court, from the very highest in the kingdom down to the Court of Conscience. Surely a state of things like this was most unconstitutional. For the levies, there was an army of 30,000 collectors. The whole, or nearly the whole, of the Catholic Priesthood of Ireland were attached to the Association, and yet what an outcry was raised if a few of the Protestant Clergy joined the Orange body. The hon. Gentleman then referred to Mr. Wyse's book to show the admitted connexion between the high Ecclesiastical dignitaries and the Association, as well as the 274 enrolment in that body of 2,500 Roman Catholic Priests. When the law to put these down was passed, the Orange Institution, which was purely defensive, ceased to exist. But this law was evaded, and organization and agitation proceeded as usual. The law was laughed at, and by a mere change of name the old Association still existed. The hon. Gentleman then referred to the simultaneous meetings which took place in Ireland with the threatening aspect which Irish affairs then presented, and said, that the Orange body were called upon to re-organize itself in self-defence against the system of intimidation, and the tumultuary meetings which took place in the South of Ireland. When Ireland was on the verge of a civil war, as she then was, was it criminal in the Orangemen to prepare for self-defence? The hon. Gentleman then described the attempt made by Mr. Lawless to proceed to the North with a body of several thousand persons, to argue, as Mr. Lawless said, with the Orangemen of the North. The Orangemen, threatened with such arguments, assembled in arms, and possessed themselves of a strong military post at Ballibay. If Mr. Lawless had proceeded at that period, thousands of the Roman Catholic party must have been slain, and a civil war must necessarily have ensued. Fortunately there happened to be an officer of his Majesty's forces with some troops stationed between the parties. He sent for Mr. Lawless, pointed out to him the danger of the course which he pursued, and induced him to desist. What, if that officer had not been there at the time, might have been the consequences? A civil war would have been the result. A war, too, of a most dangerous character, for disaffection existed amongst the soldiery, and in some regiments it openly exhibited itself. The 21st Fusileers marched into Waterford, shouting for O'Connell and the Association. Some of the soldiers were reported to have said, that there were two modes of firing, viz., at the people and over their heads, and if they were called out to fight against O'Connell and their countrymen, they would know which of the modes to adopt. From this it would be seen that the nature of the Orange Institution was defensive, and that so far from being opposed to good Government it only aimed at assisting a weak one, for all Governments must be weak under which such a state of society could exist. At last the Roman Catholic Relief Bill was passed, and it was 275 hoped that they would get some repose; but a state of things arose quite as bad as any that had before existed: for then came the Tithe Campaign, with its concomitant horrors. The Clergy of the Church Establishment were reduced to destitution. Some were driven out of the country, others were murdered: they were murdered in Kildare, in Tipperary, in Dundalk. The houses of others were attacked, their lives threatened, and some were shot at. The hon. Gentleman then read a letter written from a gentleman in Westmeath to Lord Stanley, to show that intimidation had arisen to so great a height, that persons were afraid to come forward to give testimony in courts of justice, relating the fearful extent of the outrages, and stating that the insurgents were possessed of large quantities of arms. He also referred to another document, that the most efficient of the Kilkenny petty jurors, as well as those of the Queen's County, expressed their repugnance to attend at the assizes. In addition to this, there was recognized in Ireland a system of volunteers, which was said to be almost precisely similar to the Jacobin system of France. His object in entering into these details was to show, that nothing could be more unfair than the resolutions of the hon. Member for Middlesex. The hon. Member had treated the Orange Lodges as a species of imperium in imperio. Taking only the hon. Member's statements, nobody would be able to form a guess as to what had been the state of things from the period when the Orange Lodges were instituted, down to the year 1825, when they were suppressed; and again, after they had been revived. Was not the state of Ireland, so late as last year, such as to make the maintenance of Orange Lodges, with the view to their counteraction of the opposing influences, most excusable? Agitation had then two objects to accomplish:—the first was the Extinction of Tithes; and the second was the Repeal of the Union. He called upon the House to look at the state of Ireland last year, when the Question of Repeal had been agitated, and which, though worked only for one year, had been worked so effectually, that 546,000 persons had petitioned in its favour. This agitation existed in full force last year, and even now the organization for stripping the Church of its entire revenues, and for effecting Repeal, existed in Ireland. Yes, for effecting that Repeal which the Chancellor of the Exchequer said would sepa- 276 rate Ireland from this country, and establish in the former a fierce democracy. The hon. Gentleman then referred to several letters of Mr. O'Connell's, to show that Repeal was the great object which he and Ireland should have in view. He maintained that there did exist a necessity for some system of protective union amongst the Protestants of Ireland. It was vain to talk of its being the business of Government to defend the laws and protect the peaceable subjects of the Crown. The Government were not able to defend the laws in Ireland, neither in the time of the present Ministers nor of the right hon. Baronet, (Sir Robert Peel) nor of the Ministry which preceded him; else whence the general resistance to tithes which had so long prevailed, and the consequent levy of a million of money from amongst the English people, and whence the necessity for the present coalition with the very party who had all along incited the people of Ireland to resistance to the law? He maintained, that if Orange Societies could be suppressed, they ought not to be suppressed; they could only be suppressed by the influence of the respect which was entertained for the law by their leaders; and if those individuals did entertain such a respect, they were precisely the persons who ought to associate in such a manner: if they did not entertain such a respect, the example which had been set by the Catholic Association, showed that if suppressed they might quickly rise up again under another name. As to the existence of Orange Lodges in the army, he certainly did think that any political clubs in the army were contrary to military discipline; and that any thing like partisan feeling among soldiers was to be deprecated in the strongest terms. In conclusion, he should warn the House against proceeding futher in alienating the feelings of the Protestants of Ireland, especially when it was seen that their prosecutors had been the enemies of the legislative union, and the supporters of the dissolution of the connexion between the two countries.
§ Lord Ebrington
said, that in any observations which he should make, he should confine himself strictly to the question before the House, namely, the existence of Orange Societies in the army, and the connexion of his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland with them; these being the sole matters affected by the resolutions moved by his hon. Friend, the Member for Middlesex. He would not enter upon the 277 consideration of the effect which those lodges might have upon the discipline of the army; it was sufficient for him that those institutions had been denounced by the Commander-in-Chief as fraught with injury to the discipline of the army. Such was the secrecy, it appeared, with which they were conducted, that even the authorities at the Horse-Guards were ignorant of them, and his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, a general of the army, had, in the letter which he had addressed to the Committee, stated that he knew nothing of any lodge in any regiment excepting one, of which he said that his father and his brother, the late King, were members, but with respect to which he (Lord Ebrington) believed that some explanation would be afforded by his hon. Friend, placing upon it rather a different construction than that placed by his Royal Highness. His Royal Highness said also, that he was not cognizant of the manner in which the warrants issued by him were disposed of. He (Lord Ebrington) would observe, that if he admitted that observation to the fullest extent, he must still consider that the illustrious Duke was fully and entirely responsible for every act done by him as Grand Master of the Orange Lodges—if he placed himself at the head of such an institution, he was answerable for its acts, and could not shelter himself from, any consequences which might attach to them, by stating that he did not know what use might be made of the "warrants which he issued." He had no wish to treat this as a party question—he had no desire to degrade the constituted authorities of the State—but be felt that he should be guilty of a cowardly shrinking from his duty, if he suffered the reverence which attached to names of high influence and authority to prevent him from dealing out the same measure of just treatment to persons in elevated stations, as to persons placed in more humble situations; feeling, as he did, that the injury and mischief performed by them were great in proportion to the elevation of their station, and the respect in which their names were held; and feeling, also, that in proportion to their high station was the duty incumbent on them of inculcating, by authority and example, obedience and respect for the institutions of the country in which they held it. His Royal Highness, in his letter to the Committee, distinctly denied all knowledge of the existence of any Orange Lodges in the 278 army. Now, he was bound to admit to the illustrious Duke, as he would admit to any other gentleman under similar circumstances, that at the time of his making that statement, he was impressed with the belief that it was quite correct; but how could the statement be reconciled with the documents which his hon. Friend, the Member for Middlesex was in possession of when he moved his resolutions, and which, in his (Lord Ebrington's) opinion most fully justified every word which his hon. Friend had uttered? How could that statement be reconciled with the documents which he held in his hand, purporting to contain the proceedings at a special meeting of the Grand Orange Lodge, held at the house of Lord Kenyon, in Portman-square, on the 17th of February, 1831, present his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland in the chair, at which meeting it appeared that a resolution was passed to the following effect: "Resolved, that the issue of the following warrants be approved of;—No. 254, to Samuel Easty, of the 6th Battalion of the Royal Artillery; No. 758, to James Smith, of the 94th; No. 260, to private Wilson, of the 17th;" and at the conclusion of which meeting, the thanks of the Grand Lodge were moved to the royal and illustrious Chairman, "for his great condescension and attention?" He believed that he should not be contradicted when he stated, that the warrants to which he had referred were not merely for the admission of individual soldiers, but for giving power to them to hold lodges in their regiments. He hoped, for the sake of his Royal Highness, that some means might be found of giving a different appearance to the proceedings at which the three warrants to which he had alluded were granted, than that which they at present bore. At a more recent meeting, of the proceedings at which he could also furnish some particulars, and which was held also at Lord Kenyon's house, and with his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland again in the chair, on the l6th of April, 1832, it appeared that a Mr. Keith attended as proxy for the Lodge No. 2, of one regiment, and that an apology was made for non-attendance; and also that an application was made for the warrant of Deputy-Grand-Master, by Charles Owen Hall, Deputy-Grand-Secretary of a particular Regiment, and that it was decided that no Lodge should be given to a regiment when the same was forbidden by the Commander-in-Chief. When his 279 Royal Highness wrote his letter to the Committee, he seemed strangely to have forgotten the very nature and rules of the establishment over which he presided—for among the rules of the Loyal Orange Institution, of the date of 1834, might be found one to the following effect:—"No person can be admitted into this institution unless upon the payment of fifteen shillings, nor advanced into the Purple Order unless upon payment of an extra fee of five shillings, excepting in the cases of non-commissioned officers, soldiers, and sailors, in which cases the fee of admission should be at the discretion of the Committee," He, of course, felt regret at giving a vote affecting the private character of any individual; but whatever regret he might feel in a case referring to one so high in station as the person whose name was connected with these proceedings, he felt that he should be shrinking from a public duty, if, after seeing the documents which he had read, he could do otherwise than consider his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland as implicated in the formation of Orange Lodges in the army. Entertaining that opinion, it was utterly impossible for him, after hearing the sentiments which had been unanimously expressed as to the effect and tendency of Orange Lodges on the discipline of regiments in which they existed, to avoid concurring with his hon. Friend in all the resolutions which he had moved, and among them, in particular, that one which prayed his Majesty "to direct his Royal attention to the nature and extent of Orange Lodges in his Majesty's army, in contravention of the general orders of the Commander-in-Chief of his Majesty's forces in the years 1822 and 1829, which strongly reprobate and forbid the holding of Orange Lodges in any of his Majesty's regiments; and also to call his attention to the circumstance of his Royal Highness Ernest Duke of Cumberland, a Field Marshal in his Majesty's army, having signed warrants in his capacity of Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, (some of them dated so recently as April in the present year) which warrants have been issued for constituting Orange Lodges in the army."
§ Colonel Verner
said, he could not concur in opinion with the noble Lord who had just sat down, that the only question for their discussion to-night, was the existence of Orange Lodges in regiments, and the connexion of his Royal Highness, the Duke of Cumberland with their existence. After 280 the Motion which had just been made for a Committee to inquire into the society in this country, and after the letter which had been written by that illustrious Duke, he thought it would be much more becoming to abstain from bringing the matter before the House, or intering into a debate upon it, until that inquiry had taken place. Besides he could not refrain from entering his protest upon his own part, and upon the part of the body to which he belonged, against the course which had been adopted with regard to them, and the unjust and unfair treatment they had experienced. He had spoke in the presence of many members of the Committee, subject to their correction if he stated what was erroneous. When the hon. Member for Kilkenny moved for a Select Committee to inquire into Orange Societies in Ireland, his Motion was seconded by gentlemen belonging to that body, upon which occasion he read a petition which was accompanied by a resolution declaratory of their determination to lay before the Committee all the books and papers, and make a disclosure of every circumstance connected with the Institution. It was naturally expected that the persons who had moved for the inquiry, would be prepared to shew the necessity for it by instituting charges against them. On the contrary, a request was made that evidence should be examined upon their part, even before it was attempted to make out a case against them. This proposal was acceded to, and witnesses were accordingly-called. After the examination had proceeded for some time, a further proposal was made, that it should cease upon their part, notwithstanding there were at the time several witnesses in attendance, and others daily expected, to whom summonses had been sent, and that the examination should be continued upon the part of their opponents. This was also submitted to, upon the understanding, that when the examination ceased upon the part of their opponents, they should be at liberty to call such witnesses as they thought proper, in order to rebut the evidence that might be incorrectly given against them, and to complete their case. In violation of this stipulation, the inquiry was closed abruptly, to the exclusion of witnesses who had not been previously examined, and from whom they expected much important and valuable testimony. It was of that they had to complain, being a course wholly unprecedented, and of which no candid mind could approve. He was not going to defend the 281 introduction of Orange Lodges into regiments of the line. As a military man he must disapprove of anything which could by possibility place the soldiers in a situation to disobey the orders of his commanding officer; besides he did not consider the British army in such a state as to require, in the present days, any such stimulus to encourage its members faithfully to discharge their duty to their King and country—but he remembered the time when those who loved the law and the Throne did not object to their being bound by the obligation of Orangemen in addition to those of soldiers, and when the favoured regiments, certainly those in which the Government placed most confidence, were those in which there were most Orangemen. He remembered at the period of the rebellion in Ireland, the Cavan militia, ordered by forced marches into Dublin, in consequence of the disturbed state of that metropolis from disaffection, and he remembered the Armagh and Fermanagh regiments being detained to do the duty of that garrison because the men were chiefly Protestants, most of whom were Orangemen. He also recollected other regiments into which societies of a very different nature had found their way; and he had been present at a Court-Martial where some of the men were tried for being members of these societies, and had paid the forfeit of their lives. He repeated that he was not apprehensive of the loyalty of the army at the present day—that accordingly there was no necessity for the introduction of Orange Lodges into it; but he would remind the House that all information on the subject had been obtained from the evidence of Orange witnesses, and that the candour with which they came forward to give their testimony was a proof that their error in granting warrants was owing altogether to those unacquainted with the military orders which had been issued to officers commanding regiments; and he hoped that when commanding officers of regiments were called upon to make returns that they would be required to state the character and the conduct of the individuals in their regiments who were members of the institution; and he was much mistaken if it would not be found that they were not the worst conducted men in the regiments. It should not be forgotten, that when a law was passed to put down the Orange Society, they did not seek to evade its letter or violate its spirit; when the law said, you are an illegal body, it dissolved. They 282 did not re-assemble under another name—they did not threaten to drive a coach and six through the Act of Parliament passed for their suppression. The noble Lord opposite accuses them of "perverting and seducing the soldiers, and making the army a scene of contention and arrogance." He should like to know from that noble Lord in what manner they had seduced the soldiers; certainly not from their allegiance; they had not tampered with them to become members of the Orange Society, neither had threats been held out to induce them to join in it. It was not likely that the illustrious individual under whose guidance and management the British army was brought to a state of perfection unrivalled by any other country, and hitherto unknown in this, would have allowed his name to have appeared at the head of a society capable of endeavouring to seduce the soldiery under his command. He could not pass by unnoticed an expression which fell from the hon. Member for Middlesex in the course of that debate when last before the House. He should read the words as he had taken them down, in order to afford the hon. Member an opportunity, should he misstate them to set, him right; they were these—"That men thus banded together will say anything." It was unnecessary for him to state, that that observation was applied to the Orangemen. He confessed he felt at a loss in what manner to reply to that assertion. Were he to apply the language his feelings prompted—the only language in which he could answer such an imputation—he might subject himself to their censure, and use such language as Parliamentary custom would not sanction. He should then beg leave to state to the House an instance of the high estimation in which Orangemen were held in the year 1798. He held in his hand an extract from the orderly-book of the Royal Artillery, which he should beg leave to read to that House:—
Detail for guard to-morrow as usual.
[COPY.] G. O. Belfast, June 19, 1798. Parole Fortitude. Countersigned.
Field Officer for the day to-morrow, Lieut.-Colonel Durham, Fife Fencibles.
The Belfast Yeomen are to do duty with the Fifeshire, which makes them upon an equal footing with the Monaghan Militia, both corps having 500 men fit for duty. There are 228 Orangemen and Castlereagh Yeomen; one half of them are to be attached to the Monaghan and the other half to the Fifeshire. 283 The hon. Member for the city of Dublin had frequently boasted in that House and out of it, of having, for five years, laboured to conciliate the Protestants; and as it might appear, they obstinately rejected all the advances of that hon. Member; then he held out to them the hand of good fellowship. He trusted the House would bear with him while he explained the objects and purposes of that hon. Member, for seeking to bring about that conciliation, and leave to hon. Members to judge whether the conduct of the Protestants was or was not praiseworthy, in having resisted all the entreaties and all the efforts of that gentleman; he should first state to that House what was the conduct of that hon. Member at a meeting, when he first began to practise the arts of conciliation; that statement was from a gentleman who had been present, and heard as well as saw what took place:—At a meeting in January, 1831, when he was in the glory of his agitation for a "Repeal of the Union," the learned Gentleman, after indulging in a long and violent harangue against "Solomon Stanley," and the other rulers of the day, proceeded to metamorphose the faction into "his beloved Orange fellow-countrymen—the most noble, generous and patriotic body of men any country ever saw;" and, continuing for a considerable time in this strain, concluded by praying, with uplifted hands, "that God and they might forgive him." He then pulled down the Orange and green banner which waived over his head, kissed the colours repeatedly and alternately—tore open his waistcoat, and pressed the Orange to his naked bosom, amidst loud and uproarious cheering.That was the conduct of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin. He should next proceed to read an extract from a letter addressed to the Protestants of Ireland, and dated 14th December, 1833. He would beg to call the attention of the House to one passage in this letter—so different from the language made use of by hon. Gentlemen in that House, more particularly upon a recent occasion, when the noble Lord, the Secretary for Ireland, brought in the Church Bill. Upon that occasion that noble Lord observed, that "he was glad something was likely to be done, at last, for the people of Ireland:—
§ TO THE PROTESTANTS OF IRELAND.
§ December 14, 1833.
§ The British Parliament is incompetent from ignorance, from prejudice, from want of sufficient interest, and even from want of time, to concoct and effect the measures necessary 284 for the peace, security, tranquillity, and prosperity of Ireland. Will you then join us in our generous and patriotic efforts to procure the restoration of that Parliament, which alone can be efficacious in producing all these blessings.
§ The hon. and learned Member afterwards continued in the same letter:—
§ We have attained all we desired, political equality—you have nothing more to withhold from us. Accept the revelation in the spirit in which it is given—the spirit of Christian benevolence and universal charity, of conciliation, of peace, of perpetual harmony.
§ Even should you refuse, the Union will be repealed. The Catholics alone are 7,000,000 at least. It will be impossible, quite impossible, that this nation should consent to leave its rights, liberties, and prosperity, in the hands, and under the control, of any save Irishmen.
The hon. Member for Dublin then went on to say—
If you Protestants co-operate for the Repeal generously, honourably, and speedily, in twelve months we may have the Irish Parliament in College-green again.
And in a letter to Protestants, dated 10th January, 1834, the hon. and learned Member for Dublin said, "The Repeal would be nearly valueless, unless the Protestants co-operated in the struggle to obtain it. But should the Protestants decline to cooperate in the Repeal, yet the measure has, I now perceive, become inevitable. The Union cannot possibly continue much longer. Even without Protestant aid it will be repealed. I go farther, and verily believe, that even against Protestant resistance, Repeal will, in a very few years, be carried." He should now beg the attention of the House to an extract from a letter, addressed by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin to the people of Ireland, and dated 8th April, 1834. By this time it would appear, that the hon. Member had begun to discover that the Protestants of Ireland were not so easily duped; and he expressed that a difficulty might occur in the province of Ulster—the Protestant province of Ireland. This letter was written previous to the measure of Repeal coming before the House. He said,—
§ LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND.
§ 8th April, 1834.
§ Spring Rice and Luttrel Lambert will be followed and supported by some of the high Irish Protestant partizans. We shall then have Peel chiming in chorus with Stanley, Lord Althorp playing second fiddle to Goulburn, 285 Sir H. Inglis figuring at the head of English and Scotch Radicals; and the smaller fry of Whiggery and Toryism in a shoal, swelling the majority into a mountain in comparison to our mole-hill.
§ At present no difficulty would be likely to occur, save in the province of Ulster.
§ The next document to which he would call the attention of the House was an extract from a speech delivered by the hon. and learned Member on the 10th of February of the present year. By this time it would be observed, that all hope of conciliating the Protestants, as professed by the hon. Member, had been abandoned, and he thus expresses himself:—"I have spent the last five years in fruitless endeavours to conciliate them; I thought to bring them over—but I might as well attempt to coax with success the suckling tiger or the full grown lion." So here they had it from the lips of the hon. Gentleman that it was not conciliation he sought, but, as he stated to the meeting, "to bring them over;" and he would ask of the House to bear in mind for what purpose the hon. Member wanted to bring them over. Was it not in order to aid him in bringing about a separation between the two countries? And what did these men deserve who stood true to their allegiance—who stood firm to the resolve of maintaining the connexion between Great Britain and Ireland—who had resisted every effort which the Ingenuity of that hon. Member could devise, during a period of five years, to accomplish this object—so much so that he could not boast of having made one convert; of having got one individual Protestant in Ireland to disunite himself from his brethren in England? He should make no comment upon the manner in which that hon. Gentleman expressed himself when convinced of his defeat, in a letter addressed to Lord Dun-cannon, upon the 30th of August. He should merely content himself with reading a portion of it to the House, and leave hon. Members to form their own judgments upon it:
§ LETTER TO LORD DUNCANNON.
§ 30th August.
§ Their souls are so hardened in guilt, and so accustomed to the avowed desire of practical cruelty, that they do not affect to conceal their wishes to render Ireland once more a desert, and to irrigate her plains with the blood of her inhabitants.
Then, in a letter addressed to the people of Ireland, after saying "The Orange faction are, in point of intellect and understanding,
the most deplorably degraded that ever excited the contempt or scorn of mankind," the hon. and learned Member for Dublin continued.
Then, as to their moral qualities, what are they?—The preaching of the wholesale procription, massacre, and extermination; they call themselves Christians, they preach up doctrines almost too bad for the eternal enemy of mankind to suggest to human depravity; bayonets and blood, bayonets and blood, form their texts and commentary. Their laymen vie with their parsons in ruthless atrocity, and it becomes doubtful which of the two are the more ready to preach rapine, murder, and desolation; the infernal spirit of religious persecution reigns over the whole, and renders the Irish Orangeists the most depraved as well as the most despicable of the human race.
So much had been lately said of the disturbed state of the north of Ireland, and the outrages committed in that province, that he felt he should not be discharging his duty honestly to its inhabitants, unfortunately those of the county which he represented, and which had been frequently pointed at by the hon. Member for Dublin, were he not to place before the House the true state of Ulster, as compared with the other provinces in Ireland, and this could not be better done than by referring to the charges of the Judges, when addressing the grand Juries upon the several circuits, for which purpose he selected a few from each province, which he would compare with the entire province of Ulster. His duty in attending Parliament this year, prevented him being at the assizes; so that the extracts he had made, were made last year, when he had an opportunity of doing so with greater correctness, having been in the country. From thence it would appear, that in the province of Ulster, the most populous province in Ireland, in which were the great towns of Belfast, Derry, and Enniskillen, not one capital conviction took place—and yet this was the Orange province, and as such held up for desecration. The hon. Member read some accounts of the different assiz s, from which it appeared that Ulster was remarkably free from crimes; while the other provinces were much a prey to criminality. He should now submit to the House an extract from a return laid upon that Table, to which every hon. Member could refer. It was the Return of the constabulary force in Ireland, and they could see what proportion Ulster bore to the other provinces:—
§ By the Returns of last year, laid upon the Table of this House, to which every hon. Member could refer, the amount of the constabulary force was thus:—
|of Munster by||205|
|Of Connaught by||572|
|Of Leinster by||1,411|
§ —or Leinster was 233 more than double that of Ulster.
§ But what is most deserving attention is, that in two counties, Galway and Tipperary, the constabulary force exceeds that of the whole of Ulster by 47—containing nine counties, two of which are in the first scale as to extent and population.
§ Military force last year:—eight regiments of cavalry—twenty-nine infantry—nineteen depots—fifty six in all. Of which there were in Ulster—Two regiments, one dép÷t, and part of another regiment.
§ He would then remind the House of the distribution of the military force stationed in Ireland, and to that he would particularly call the attention of the hon. Member for Middlesex, aware of his love for economy. A trifling variation might have taken place in the amount of the force generally throughout Ireland between the present and the last year, when that Return was made; but the proportion allotted to the province of Ulster remained the same. He had only to remark to the hon. Member for Middlesex, that if the other provinces in Ireland were like Protestant Ulster, allowing a sufficient garrison for the duty of Dublin, the whole amount of military in Ireland would not exceed twelve or thirteen regiments. He thought he had now shown that Ulster had been most foully and unjustly represented in that House—that it had been admitted upon the part of the hon. Member who represented the people of Ireland, that all that was wanted to procure the repeal of the Legislative Union was the co-operation of the Protestants—that all he feared was the resistance of the Protestants of the North. He would, therefore, call upon hon. Members, if they valued the connexion between the two countries—if they valued the only men in Ireland who upheld that connexion, not to join in the endeavour to put down Orangemen of Ireland.
observed that it had been stated in the letter which had been so often alluded to that night, and which was 288 written by an illustrious Duke, to have been alleged that the only regiment in which he was aware of the existence of an Orange Lodge was the 4th regiment. Now he had the honour to be a Member of the institution established in that regiment, and he could unhesitatingly state that his royal Highness was misinformed, or laboured under a gross error, if he supposed that the lodge in that regiment was an Orange Lodge, in the sense in which that term was at present understood. He might appeal to his known principles, not only since he became a Member of that House, but since he could form an opinion on any subject, as strong proof against the possibility of his joining a society established on the principles of Orangeism as they now prevailed. The Lodge to which the illustrious Duke alluded was of a totally different character from those which now existed: it was, in fact, a lodge of a purely military character. It was instituted by William 3rd, and the only resemblance which it bore to the Orange Lodges of the present day was, that its members were allowed to wear a badge, which consisted of a riband, half blue and half yellow in colour. He could, however, venture to assert, that nothing even approaching political opinions formed any test as to the admission of its members. The qualification for admission to it was either to have served four or five years in that regiment, or to have performed an active campaign. It was as a candidate who had acquired the latter qualification that he had obtained admission to that body. Besides, it was officers and not men who were competent to become members of the institution. On one occasion, at a review, George the Third inquired what the ribands worn by the members of that Lodge meant, and upon being told that they were only marks of military distinction, he expressed himself perfectly satisfied. Now he asked what similarity was there between that Lodge and the Orange Lodges, as they were now proved to exist, except the fortuitous one of its members wearing a riband of a colour like that which distinguish those who at present belonged to Orange Lodges? He had certainly been alarmed at the extent to which it had been shown those Lodges had existed, and the root which they had taken in the army, for he could not help considering their existence as tending directly to the overthrow of all discipline, and as being most likely to make the British 289 army more formidable to its friends than to its foes. Surely dissensions enough existed in the country, and amongst all classes and professions, without introducing this the strongest incitement to the disturbance of the peace and tranquillity of its inhabitants. And if it were found that a Member of the other House of Parliament—no matter how sacred might be his functions, or high his privileges—had lent his countenance to such a system, it must be evident that he was pursuing a course which, instead of adding lustre to his rank, must, if it were followed up, inevitably tend to the extinction of all kind, charitable, social, and truly religious feelings. He would give his cordial support to any feasible measure for putting an end to such Societies as Orange Lodges in the army
§ Sir Edward Codrington
felt bound to warn the House against suffering these secret Societies to contaminate the navy. He merely rose for the purpose of putting the House on their guard against allowing the spread of these bodies, and not with any view of answering the Hon. and gallant Gentleman; because he was not aware that the gallant Officer had urged a single point which bore out the question before the House. He was certainly most anxious to avoid entering on these Irish disputes, which the hon. and gallant Member had brought under the notice of the House. There was one point however, to which he felt compelled to allude. The hon. and gallant Officer had referred particularly to the year 1798 as that in which the loyalty of Orangemen was eminently displayed. Now, he begged to remind the hon. and gallant Member and the House, that in that very year a mutiny had broken out in the Navy from the establishment of such a society as that of the Orange Lodges, which had nearly had the effect of proving destructive to the country.
§ Mr. Sheil
said, that in the Committee the functionaries of the Orange body had been in the first instance examined. The Member for Armagh, who is Deputy Grand Master and Viceroy to the Duke of Cumberland, had been upon three several days produced as a witness in favour of the Orange Institution, and as an encomiast of himself. Mr. Swan, the Deputy Grand Secretary; Mr. Stewart Blacker, the Assistant Grand Secretary; Mr. Baker, another Grand Assistant—(of these grandees there was no end); Mr. Ward, the Grand solicitor, and Mr. Mortimer O'Sullivan, a 290 gentleman most competent to give evidence concerning both religions, for he indulged in the "pleasures of memory" with respect to the one, and in those of hope with regard to the other. All, in short, of the chief Officers of the Orange Institution had been examined, Their own journals, annals, and records had been resorted to. The Orange body had ostentatiously made a profit of these documents, and from those sources conclusions, not only beyond doubt, but beyond dispute, had been deduced. What appeared to be the state of Ireland in reference to the Orange Institution? A vast confederacy existed, exclusively Protestant. It consisted of upwards of 100,000 men; the members were initiated with a solemn and mysterious ritual—they entered into a compact of religious and political brotherhood—signs and pass-words were employed by them for the purposes of clandestine recognition—their proceedings were regulated by a code of laws the most specific and the most minute—they were governed by a great representative assembly called the Grand Lodge of Ireland, consisting of deputies from every part of Ireland—the whole country was divided into districts, in which Lodges affiliated and corresponding to each other were established—and this enormous mass of organised Protestantism was armed, while a Prince of the Blood, not next, but near the Throne, was at its head. How this extraordinary and unparalleled institution had worked, for evil or for good, its results must have been seen. Let them go into detail and inquire what has been its effect with respect to the administration of justice and the peace of the country? And let them, further ask how it has been employed as a political engine, and under what circumstances, and with what cognisance it had extended itself into the army? The Orange Grand Lodge had defended a series of prosecutions instituted against the members of this turbulent fraternity by the Crown. An Orangeman, in the streets of Dundalk, strikes with a knife a Roman Catholic dead—he is prosecuted,—convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to two years' imprisonment. His defence was conducted by the Orange body. Certain Orange rioters at Newry were sentenced to sixteen months' imprisonment—to these malefactors the Orange Grand Lodge extended their pecuniary aid, and conducted their defence. They not only defended but prosecuted. Three magistrates in Cavan dispersed an Orange pro- 291 cession; the Grand Orange Lodge determined to institute a prosecution against the civil authorities who had the audacity to interfere with them; they sent down to Cavan their solicitor, Mr. Wood, and the grand jury threw out the bills. At the last Meath election, a body of 200 Orangemen gathered from the adjacent counties, and entered the town of Trim. They filled the Court-house; a dagger was seized in the hand of one of them by the High Sheriff; they spread confusion and dismay, and after having enacted their part they returned to the town of Kells.—Here they met a Roman Catholic; they put him to death; they were prosecuted, and the Grand Orange Lodge, by a specific resolution, advanced money to conduct the defence. Picture to yourself an Irish court of justice: an Orangeman is indicted; in the jurors' box twelve Orangemen are placed; the magistrates, if the case be tried at Quarter Sessions, are members of this fatal fraternity; under these circumstances, what a mockery is the administration of justice! Sir Frederick Stoven spoke of it as a subject of public ridicule and contempt. But facts were better than opinions. Take the following:—In a prayer-book a notice of Orange assassination is written; Sir Frederick Stoven and his subordinate, Mr. Duff, who was employed in the police, had incurred the displeasure of the Orangemen of Tyrone, and in the prayer-book belonging to the wife of Mr. Duff—which she had left in the church which she had been in the habit of attending—an Orange notice threatening death—death to Sir Frederick Stoven and her husband was written. Almost immediately after, a meeting was called at Dungannon, at which the Orangemen appeared in considerable force, with military music, and invested with the factious and offensive decorations. A scene of great excitement ensued—a musket is discharged at Sir Frederick Stoven, and the ball whistled passed his ear. What, the House will ask—atrocious as the circumstances may appear—what had all that to do with the administration of justice? At that meeting, attended with so many incidents of a revolting character, Lord Claude Hamilton was made an Orangeman; he was initiated at the house of a publican of the name of Lilburne; and immediately afterwards he was made a magistrate. God forbid he should charge the noble Lord with being influenced by a sentiment of partisanship in the discharge of his magisterial duties. 292 I grant him (said Mr. Sheil) to be pure—it is difficult however to believe that he will be unsuspected. In this state of things what other feeling but one of dismay amongst Roman Catholics, and of offensive conduct and exasperating exultation can exist amongst the Orange population of the country. I appeal to a fact again: At the last Spring Assizes for the county of Armagh, three Orangemen were prosecuted for marching in a procession. Baron Pennefather suggested to them, with a view to mitigation of their sentence, that they ought to express regret for having violated the law. What was their reply? Did they intimate their contrition? Did they declare their determination never to commit a similar outrage on the public peace again? No, Sir, in open court, and in the face of the Judge, these audacious confederates whistled an air called "The Protestant Boys," and what do you conjecture was their sentence? Not two years imprisonment, not one year, not six months: no, Sir, the learned Judge tempers justice with mercy, and sentences these presumptuous delinquents to an imprisonment of three weeks. The Dorchester labourers were sentenced to transportation for seven years, and the Orange malefactors are sentenced to an imprisonment for three weeks. How has the Orange society affected the peace of the country? We are told that Ulster is in a state of most profound and prosperous repose, but by the evidence what appears? In the broad open day a body of Orange incendiaries enter a Roman Catholic village called Anagagh, and in the face of the noontide sun set the houses of the Roman Catholic inhabitants on fire; they then retire to a hill called Kinnigo, to the number of near two hundred; they form themselves in military array, and wait the arrival of the police troops. Sir Frederick Stoven advances at the head of the military, with a piece of artillery, in order to disperse them, the magistrate, by whom he is attended, declines giving an order to fire, and the Orangemen, with sloped arms in martial order, and with martial music, bidding and looking defiance, march away. And how were they armed? With yeomanry muskets. The entire yeomanry force of Ireland is in fact enrolled in the Orange Associations, and when a conflict ensues with the people the consequences are easily foreseen: witness the slaughters of which they have been guilty, the blood in which they have waded, the horrors which they have perpetrated: witness Newtown- 293 barry. How has the Orange institution, been employed as a political engine? To their declaration of allegiance, a condition, primed with danger, is attached. They engage to maintain the throne so long as by the throne Protestant ascendancy is supported. They expel from their society every member who does not comply with the ordinances at elections. They issue proclamations commanding every Orangeman to petition Parliament for or against specific measures. At the close of the last year it was determined by a cabal that Lord Melbourne should be driven from office. At Hillsborough 75,000 Orangemen were assembled to sustain the Conservative adventurers in their daring and desperate enterprises. But it will be said, "had they not a right to do all this?" Had they not a right to meet and petition Parliament, and address the Crown at Hillsburough? Be it so. Granting the prerogative at Hillsborough, what have they to do with Quebec? The House seems startled with the question. It is readily explained. The Orangemen of Ireland have passed resolutions for the extension of their society into Upper and Lower Canada. The Grand Lodge of England have appointed a Grand Secretary to visit the British colonies of North America, with directions to communicate with the Imperial Grand Master. Why is this?—Upon what pretence? For what purpose? Is their object defensive? What in God's name, have the Irish or English Orangemen to do with Lower Canada, whose religion is Catholic, whose Established Church is Catholic, whose legislature is Catholic? Are they not contented with sticking the baneful roots of their confederacy into the heart of the British empire, but they must extend ramifications across the Atlantic, in order to supply to our fellow-subjects in the North American colonies their poisoned fruits? I come to the army. How inconsistent and anomalous are the encomiums and the admissions of Orangemen in this particular. They praise the Orange Societies without limit. This loyal brotherhood, according to their account is the guardian of peace, the promoter of tranquillity, it enforces order, loves God, and honors the King. What a pity it is, that in despite of the notorious rules of the Horse Guards, and in violation of every principle of military discipline, this society should have introduced into the army its secret and mutinous organisation? The fact is now beyond all dispute; but there 294 are circumstances connected with it, which are not a little remarkable. There is in the code of Orange legislation an ordinance that all regiments in the army shall be considered as districts. It is the 15th rule of 1824—of this rule the Grand Master never heard. So late as this very year, in the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland a warrant was granted to create a lodge in the army, and who was in the chair? Mr. Cromelin the Grand Master of the county of Down. This resolution and the presidency of Mr. Cromelin on the occasion, appears in the appendix to the report. But let the House mark the following resolution, that the next warrant should be granted to the 66th regiment. Who was it moved that resolution? No ordinary individual—a man who began his political life as a Fellow of Trinity College (of which the Duke of Cumberland is Grand Master) who has since figured in Brunswick meetings in England—the Reverend Charles Boyton, the associate of Mr. Mortimer O'Sullivan, the Grand Chaplain of the Orange Grand Lodges, and (mark it) the chaplain to Lord Harrington, the late Lord Lieutenant. But all the functionaries of the Orange body, despite all this, were ignorant of what was going on in the army. The knowledge of some people is wonderful, but not half so marvellous as the ignorance of others. The next time the hon. Gentleman opposite, the Grand Treasurer, late Treasurer to the Ordnance, who was admitted with the Duke of Wellington a Doctor of Common Law at Oxford, visits that learned and loyal establishment, I pray of him to revive the old college play of Ignoramus, the principal characters to be performed by Alexander Perceval, Harry Maxwell, and his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland. His Royal Highness has written a letter. He never heard of Orange Lodges in the army—never heard of the orders of 1822 and 1829, of the rule of the Orange body, that every regiment should be considered a district—of the majority of the Grand Lodge having carried a resolution, on a division, to establish Orange Lodges in the army—of the printed book of warrants, in which the list of military warrants is contained; neither does his Royal Highness recollect having been present, when, in 1831, 1832, 1833, and 1835, warrants were granted, while he was in the chair, to military men, and actually a soldier attended as representative of his regiment. His Royal Highness does not bear all this in mind, 295 and is utterly ignorant of the introduction into the army of the Lodges of which he is the Grand Master. Heaven forbid that I should question the truth of his Royal Highness's allegations; I fly in the midst of difficulties, which might startle the belief of men of less accommodating credulity than mine, to the theology of my religion, and get rid of all embarrassments by exclaiming, "Credo quia impossibile est." But, Sir, putting this question aside, there is a consideration of infinite importance connected with his Royal Highness, and independent of his knowledge or his ignorance (the latter I do not care to controvert.) Is it befitting that any British subject should possess the power of which he has made himself master? Is it right and is it safe that a Prince of the Blood should be invested with this portentous authority? He is declared, by the rules of the English Grand Lodge, to be absolute and uncontrollable; he is addressed with a species of prophetic greeting, "Hail, that shall be King hereafter!" I acquit him (and I am quite sincere) of a design so preposterous as that of interfering with the succession: if he is ever to be King, a legitimate sovereign and nothing else shall he ever be: but if, instead of having his foot on the steps of the throne, he is destined to be seated in it; if by some fatality England shall be deprived of the Princess, the object of our affection and of our hope—that Princess, who, if maternal virtues are hereditary, must be wise, and just, and kind, and gentle, and good—if, Sir, the Imperial Grand Master is fated to be the sovereign of this vast empire, I trust that he will look to the just support of the people, to their confidence and their loyalty for the sustainment of his rightful prerogative, and that by 100,000 Irish Janissaries, the throne of Ernest the First will never be surrounded. One, and the most important of all questions (a plain and simple one) remains. Such being the facts, what is to be done? That something must be done is manifest. You cannot—you must not tolerate this institution. If you do, what will be the result? How will the Roman Catholic soldiers feel, with whom your army is filled, who have fought your battles, participated in your glory, and furnished the raw material out of which the standard of victory has been wrought? And leaving all consideration of the army out of regard, what, if you do not crush this baneful society will in Ireland be the consequence? If by your conni- 296 vance, you convert this confederacy into a pattern, instead of by chastisement making it an example—and if a counter organization shall be formed—if we, the Irish millions, shall enrol ourselves in some analogous organization—if its members shall be admitted with a solemn religious ceremony if the obligation of political fraternity shall be inculcated—if signs, and tests, and passwords shall be employed—if a representative assembly, consisting of deputies from every Irish county, shall be held in the metropolis, and subordinate lodges shall be held in every department into which the country shall be subdivided, then, Sir, what will befal? Woe to the vanquished, and to the victors woe! The gulf of civil warfare will yawn beneath the feet of Ireland, and in the abyss all her hopes will be for ever swallowed. Avert, for God's sake, avert the calamity, which, if I have anticipated, it is to shudder at its prospect. Save us from these terrible possibilities! I call on his Majesty's Government to adopt a measure which, by its timely application, will prevent these terrific results from coming to pass. If I relied upon them less, I should warn them more. But, in their energy, their wisdom, in the great and good things which, in a time so short, and under the pressure of difficulties so pressing, they have accomplished, I find a sufficient pledge. I will not tell them that I exect, because I know, that they will do their duty.
Mr. Randal Plunkett
said, that however embarrassing it might be to arise amid the thunders of applause which were greeting the eloquent effusion of the hon. and learned Member for Tipperary, he should not, under any circumstances, shrink from doing what he deemed a duty towards an institution, of whose principles and practice he, at least, would not profess ignorance, and by which he was determined to stand or fall. He did not arise to defend the illustrious individual who had been assailed; that would be, he believed, ably done by a gentleman who was to follow him; but he must say that, in his very humble opinion, that illustrious personage would not be well counselled if he were advised to disconnect himself from an institution, founded on the very principles which placed his family on the throne of these realms. He could not but express astonishment at the course pursued in this case, when it was evident that the hon. Member for Middlesex merely made use of the circumstance of there being Orange 297 Lodges in the army as a peg whereon to hang a lengthened string of charges against the most decided of his political opponents. He did not pretend to have been ignorant that there were Orange Lodges in the army. Until he heard of the circular of the Commander-in-Chief, however, and the observation of almost all hon. and gallant officers on both sides of the House, he was ignorant that there was any harm in encouraging among the soldiery an enthusiastic ardour for the cause of the King and country for which they contended. He now learned—what? Why only that it was not in accordance with military discipline and subordination. Well, be it so; but surely if the only object was seriously to prevent Orange Lodges from continuing to be held in the army, where they were in fact almost in abeyance, a second circular from the Horse Guards would have done the thing in a manner much less offensive. The hon. Member for Tipperary had called him the substitute of the hon. Member for Drogheda. This certainly came well from the late Member for Milborne Port, and now Member for the worst county in Ireland, in which there were 550 murders in two years and a half, and but two Orange Lodges. But he wondered that hon. Members opposite should be so tenacious as to the particular seat in Parliament an hon. Member occupied. He was not surprised at an attack upon himself, for he had never experienced at the hands of hon. Members opposite, even that conventional courtesy which he had heard that the House was wont to extend to young Members. The first evening that he spoke in that House, the learned Member for Dublin attempted to overwhelm him (Mr. P.) by a torrent of vituperation; the next time it was affected indifference—and the last it was by disturbance and interruption. Now, he asked of Englishmen for nothing more than a fair field and no favour when he spoke, that the maxim should be followed audi alteram partem. The joke, he confessed, was rather bad, that he was a substitute for the representative of Drogheda, when if it had not been for the violence and intimidation exercised by persons who agree with the hon. Member for Tipperary, he should now be member for his native county of Meath, in which he resided, but which he did not represent, although he contested it against the present members for the county, who were both strangers, while his (Mr. P.'s) family had been for centuries resident in that county, defending in Ire- 298 land the British pale. But to revert to the subject—he joined the Orange institution when many of the most distinguished for station and influence in the country did join it. He had seen a hundred Orangemen initiated, but never took, or saw taken, oath, test, or declaration. Why did he and others, gentlemen of some little importance in their own country, join the institution? They found it in existence and in power; its principles were approved; there were two courses open to them—either to attempt to put down an institution of 220,000 loyal men. which attempt might possibly create disaffection from, or resistance to the law, or to put themselves at its head, and thus govern and guide it, thus to calm excitement, and to put down agitation. They took the latter course, and for his own county of Meath and its neighbourhood, he could only say that since he had influence in that county, there had never been a suspicion of guilt or crime attachable to Orangemen, save the one memorable case at Kells, of which he verily began to fear he should never hear an end. He thanked the hon. Member for Tipperary for the happy allusion—he did not ever allow himself, as a magistrate and grand juror of Meath, to hint at his opinion publicly, until these men were fully and fairly tried—they now had been tried, and a jury, composed of Roman Catholics and Protestants, after a full and lengthened investigation and trial, went in to decide; were not ten minutes in deliberation on the verdict, and the first man to pronounce those Orangemen perfectly innocent was a Roman Catholic juror. By the evidence of Sir Frederick Stovin, it appeared, that when other Orange districts were disturbed, Fermanagh, and the neighbourhood of Rathfriland, were perfectly quiet. Why so? Because the one was presided over by Lord Enniskillen, who was an Orangeman, and the other by Lord Roden, while Tyrone was disturbed, and Armagh, where were Lords Caledon and Gosford, who were not Orange, men, and therefore had no influence with them. He wished there were no secret signs or passwords in the institution; but as to suppressing it, what would England do, in the absence of any other Protestant Association for the same purposes? He begged to state most distinctly, that lie conceived the Orange institution defensible only as a defensive, or at the most a protective Association: and under what better banner could Protestants assemble, than 299 that of the Prince of Orange who saved them—he did not say from Roman Catholicism, but from tyranny, arbitrary power, and all its results? The hon. Member, whose almost unrivalled defence of Orangeism, began the debate this evening, had hardly left him (Mr. Plunkett) anything to add to his perfect oration. He would merely allude to the present state of Ribbonism. Was it possible that the noble Lord opposite (the Secretary of State for the Home Department), could venture to justify his conduct the other day, when laying his hand upon a heap of papers or reports, as he said, relative to the Ribbon Society, he insinuated ignorance of the nature and extent, and almost existence, of that Association? That Society was as well known to every Irishman as the Orange Society had begun to be to the Senate. There was a central Committee in Dublin; he believed it sat in Gregg's-lane, and there were Lodges throughout the country, and the peasantry themselves would tell them, that they were almost all sworn. So much was this the case, that the following was a practice adopted when a Ribbonman enters (by passwords and signs) a public-house in a neighbourhood he does not know; he drinks to one of the Lodge who knows the neighbourhood; the latter fills his glass, and is asked by the visitor, "is it clear?" The other says (unless they are all Ribbon-men), "no, there are so many motes," meaning those who in the room were not Ribbonmen. The signs and passwords were changed every month, and in March or May they were partially as follows:—One Ribbonman meeting another, accosted him thus, or nearly—"Where are you going?" "To destroy Luther."—"What do you mean by Luther?" "The dark fog that comes out of the pit from which Luther and Calvin rose." All the signs of every month, and some oaths sworn to on trials, proved that the object of the Ribbonmen was to exterminate Protestants. He would put the case, that a simultaneous rising were agreed upon by all the Catholics of Ireland, that the Protestants beheld at once the summit of every hill blazing with the dread signal of the blessed turf, from the Cove of Cork to the Causeway, and from Limerick to the Liffey, upon whom could the Magistracy—upon whom even could the Government call, to save the homes, and hearths, and halls—the families and females of the Protestants of Ireland from ruthless ruffians? The altars had been already desecrated. He 300 was irresistibly reminded of the truly simple observation of a most excellent Judge, sent over from England, when he was told, that the Irish would not know what to do if there were such a rising. "Why (said he) could not the Sheriff call out the posse comitatus of the county?" Only imagine an Irish Sheriff calling upon the posse comitatus of his county? Again, he said, upon whom could the King's Government themselves call? None but the loyal Protestants would respond to his call. The hon. Member concluded by intreating the House to pause and consider, whether it were just to put down the Orange Society before the Ribbon Society was suppressed, and if it were just, was it also expedient.
§ Mr. Twiss
regretted the general tenour of the observations of the hon. Member for Tipperary, tending as they did, to the intimidation of the judicial authorities in Ireland. Much had been said in regard to an Illustrious Individual, and it was plain that for party purposes, hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side were resolved to endanger the whole of their professed object in relation to the Orange Lodges, rather than fail in the attack which had been made upon that Illustrious Individual. In the imputations against him no one who calmly considered the circumstances could concur. What right had the House to pursue a question, referring to the point, whether or not an Illustrious Personage had violated a military rule? But it was by no means probable that the Duke of Cumberland was aware of the existence of Orange Lodges in the army. With regard to what took place at the meetings, it did not appear that the Illustrious Duke knew of, or took any part in the arrangement respecting Orangemen in the army, and with regard to former rules, dated in 1800, was it to be supposed that he could bear them in memory up to 1828? If they applied the same tests to the case of the Duke of Cumberland as to any Chairman of an ordinary Society, credit must at once be given to the letter of his Royal Highness. He would beg to remind the House of a Motion which had been brought forward, tending to censure a noble and learned Lord, now the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, for having, as one of the Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Purposes, signed a paper recommending the dissolution of certain Ecclesiastical Unions, and for having, notwithstanding that recommendation, presented a son of his own to one of those continued Unions. He did not refer to this circumstance for the purpose 301 of casting any censure upon the noble and learned Lord. No man could value or respect him more than he (Mr. Twiss) did, but he wished to remind the House, that the decision which was come to on that occasion was founded on the belief, that the noble Lord had forgotten his having signed the paper; or, in fact, that he had not signed the paper upon any minute investigation, but rather upon the faith and credit of the Colleagues with whom he acted. He only asked the House to deal out the same measure of justice to the Duke of Cumberland which they had formerly dispensed to Lord Plunkett. He contended, that no case of danger was made out to call for further inquiry, and the only question was as to the form of passing the Resolutions before the House. The Ribbonmen were as illegal as Orangemen, and should be embraced by any decision to which the House might come. The House would not do justice if it did not include other parties as well as Orangemen, if there existed a class of men in Ireland, or elsewhere, who, by their speeches, or otherwise were equally dangerous to the peace of the country with Orangemen, he hoped the Government would not overlook such persons.
§ Sir Edmund Hayes
said, that the hon. and learned Member for Tipperary had stated, and apparently had made some sensation in the House, that the Orangemen were to a man armed. Now, making due allowance for the fertile fancy of the learned Gentleman, he admitted that to a great extent they were in possession of arms; and he wished particularly to draw the attention of the House to the circumstances under which many of them were obtained. Were they bestowed by a Tory Ministry—a Ministry sympathizing with and respecting that body? Undoubtedly not; but by that Government, many of the Members of which he now saw opposite, the head of which was Earl Grey. He remembered how in the year 1831, when the hon. and learned Member for Dublin began his Repeal agitation in good earnest, immediately after the Catholic Bill, the Marquess of Anglesey, who then administered the affairs of Ireland, became alarmed, and was apprehensive that some forcible attempt was to be made for a Repeal of the Union, judging from the feelings which ever prompted, in his own breast a generous carelessness of personal safety, supposed that the agitators might place themselves at the head of an insurrectionary movement, in order to accomplish that which they ever 302 inculcate on their hearers as the first object, of life, viz., Repeal. Little did he know that the Irish demagogues, however they stimulate and excite their unfortunate countrymen to acts of violence and outrage, uniformly shrink from a participation of that danger in which they involve others. But what did he do? He instantly dispatched a General Officer to inspect and revive the Protestant Yeomanry, and distributed clothes and arms to the amount of 60,000l. He would ask the House, whether there could be any testimony more valuable than this, coming, as it did, from a reluctant witness?—for that Government was no friend to the Protestants; there was no opportunity lost of reviling and discouraging them; yet, in a moment of danger, no other body could be found to lean upon, whose fidelity and allegiance were to be trusted. With regard to the immediate subject of this discussion, he must say, that there were no terms of reprehension used on the other side, with respect to the establishment of military Lodges, to which he did not fully agree. It appeared to him most dangerous to the discipline of the army; he held it to be indisputable, that no soldier should be liable to the temptation of hesitating one moment between the commands of his Officer, whatever they might be, and the opinions of the political body of which he was a member: therefore, he would consent to any measure that was necessary to eradicate and prevent such a system. The hon. Member for Tipperary had dwelt upon the mischiefs arising from an undue interference in the administrations of justice, and had cited some cases where subscriptions had been made to defend some of the poorer Protestants who had been made subjects of prosecution; this was a new doctrine, that in this free country, because a man, unable to do so by his own means, should be assisted in availing himself of the means of defence provided by the laws of his country, that a charge should be made of polluting the source of justice. Why is Ulster, the strong hold of Protestants and Orangemen, so happy and quiet if justice is unfairly administered. If the Protestants are the violent, sanguinary, and oppressive men which the Members opposite describe, how is it that they live on such good terms with their Catholic neighbours in the North, where their numbers are so strong that they could easily indulge in insult and oppression if they were so disposed. The opposite side of the House often was challenged to account for 303 the contrast afforded by the peaceable state of Ulster; he now challenged them, but they would shrink from it. There were some regulations of the Orange Society which he did not approve of; some of their old ceremonials and symbols were trifling and ridiculous, and had been dressed up in the language of ridicule which they perhaps deserved, but they had nothing to do with the Question before the House. The great Question for the House to consider was, how they would ultimately deal with a great confederacy of this kind, powerful numbers, powerful in combination, powerful in moral energy, and bound together by the most ardent zeal to preserve the connexion between the two countries. The House might stop processions, and might put an end to external demonstrations; but could they by any law prevent the operation of the first principles of human nature, protection and self-defence. The Protestants well knew that the period of the Repeal, if ever it should happen, would be the day of practical vengeance upon them; that Question, it was true, slumbered at present. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin was a man of too much sagacity not to perceive that for the present it was his interest not to revive it, as long as the Government were doing his work and subjected to his influence—whenever the time arrived, most suitable for his views, he would re-agitate it, and with a greatly redoubled prospect of success; who then, in the day of danger, which, beyond a question, would come sooner or later, were to be depended upon by England, except the Protestants? He warned the Government with all the solemn earnestness which he could command, to beware of discouraging too much, and alienating too widely, the affections of those men whose only wish was to live in peace, to maintain their religion, and to preserve the Union. The terms Protestant and Orangeman were daily becoming nearly synonymous terms. Those Protestants who had passed all their lives in the advocacy of liberal policy, were now designated as furious partizans, because they refused to be harnessed in the trammels of the agitator; nay, even Catholics (and they were many)who wished to live in peace, and preserve the Union, were equally condemned, and called Orange papists, and the Government, the moment they ceased to go as fast as those that ruled them wished, that moment they would be cast off as useless but degraded instruments. Before he sat down he wished to advert to a remark made by 304 the Member for Tipperary, regarding a rev. friend of his who long took an active part in Irish politics—he meant Mr. Boyton. It appeared that his name was attached, as proposing a resolution for establishing a lodge in a regiment; he was authorised by that Gentleman to state that nothing could meet more with his strong disapprobation than the existence of lodges in the army. Although at that time prominent in politics, he took very little part in the details of the Orange body, and if his name did so appear, it was without his knowledge, for frequently the name of a person who was known to be an active friend was put down as proposing or seconding a resolution, without the knowledge of the person so inserted.
§ Lord John Russell
wished to say, consistently with what he had said on a former night, that he had no objection to all the resolutions which described the organization of Orange lodges, and which condemned the existence of them in the army. But he objected to the 5th and 6th resolutions; and was not disposed, until further information was given upon the subject, to acquiesce in that resolution in which the name of his Royal Highness was mentioned. With regard to the fifth and sixth resolutions they must be reserved for future consideration; and with regard to the resolution affecting the conduct of the Duke of Cumberland, he had been in hopes that such an explanation might have been given as would have been satisfactory to the House; and he did not think it would have been very difficult (supposing all that had been stated on the other side of the House to be correct) to have given such an explanation; but instead of this they had nothing further from his Royal Highness than an assurance that he signed blank warrants, and that if it were proved to him that any such warrants had been directed to any regiments, he would order them to be annulled. I own (said the noble Lord) that after giving the utmost candour asked for by the hon. Member for Drogheda to this explanation, I cannot say that I do think that that is a satisfactory statement. I was in hopes, taking for granted, which I am perfectly ready to do (however circumstances may appear to lead to a contrary conclusion) that the whole of these proceedings—both the granting of the warrants, and the passing of the resolutions at Lord Kenyon's had been carried on without the knowledge of those persons who were he chief officers of the Orange Society; I 305 say I was in hopes and did expect that when those persons discovered the course which had been carried on so injuriously to the discipline of the army under their name and their authority, that they would have disclaimed all connexion with those who had so acted. The noble Lord proceeded to say, that in his opinion every, thing that had been said by the advocates of those parties, on their behalf, tended to strengthen this conclusion. All that the House had heard stated of their perfect and entire ignorance of these transactions—all that the House had heard of the facts which had been concealed from them, led him to the conclusion that they ought to have expressed their indignation—not against those who brought this Motion forward, and who called the attention of the public to the facts—but against those unworthy, unfaithful, and treacherous coadjutors with whom they had been allied. With these opinions he should feel himself compelled to vote (with the exception of the fifth and sixth resolutions, which he thought the hon. Member for Middlesex would have no difficulty in withdrawing) for the resolutions before the House. Whether it was originally the best course to have taken to bring forward these resolutions it was not for him to pronounce; but looking at the resolutions before the House, or if they were to pass them by, it would seem to indicate a satisfaction on the part of the House with that with which it was impossible for the House to be in any degree satisfied. With respect to the two resolutions which he wished the hon. Member for Middlesex to withdraw—concerning the peace and tranquillity of Ireland—he thought they must form a very serious subject of deliberation in a future Session. He should enter into that deliberation with the opinion that it was not necessary that these Orange societies should exist for the purpose of maintaining the union of the two countries; nor that Orangeism was synonymous with Protestantism. They had the testimony of Lord Caledon that those who belonged to these societies, so far from being friendly to the existence of the union of the two countries, offered, by their conduct as Orangemen, the greatest obstacles to the firm cementing of that union. He should enter upon the deliberation of the subject as it became a Member of the Legislature of this country, perfectly regardless of the threat of the hon. Member for Drogheda. He should enter upon it without the least 306 regard for any other society of a similar nature be it called by whatever name it might. He was convinced that one of the greatest obstacles to the prosperity of Ire-laud consisted in the existence of societies pitted against each other; one professing to be formed upon the pure principles of Protestantism, and the other upon the principles of Catholicism; but both encouraging feelings of enmity and hatred against each other, and a general-disregard of the authority of the law. He thought that this subject ought to be considered with the understanding that all the King's subjects were equal in the eye of the law; and that the law ought and should reign supreme over them all. He had no notion of being told that one part of the people were to be kept within the authority of the law, and another not, because the former did not happen to belong to a certain sect of religionists. With these opinions and these sentiments he should give his vote for the resolutions of the hon. Member for Middlesex (with the exception of the fifth and sixth); because he thought, after the disclosures made before the Committee of the House, some notice ought to he taken of the proceedings of these societies—proceedings fraught with such danger to the peace of the country, as Parliament could not, and ought not, in duty to that country, to connive at.
§ Mr. Shaw
contended, that the last resolution to which the noble Lord had just adverted, referring to his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, could not be passed in its present form; for while it was literally true, it was substantially untrue. The resolution affirmed "that his Royal Highness had signed warrants, as Grand Master of the Orange Lodge, which warrants had been issued for constituting Orange Lodges in the army." Now that was the truth, but it was not the whole truth, and on the contrary it implied that which was absolutely untrue, for what was the real fact?—that his Royal Highness had signed warrants, but they were blank warrants, and these warrants had been afterwards issued for constituting Orange Lodges in the army; but then that was certainly without the knowledge of the illustrious Duke. The noble Lord (John Russell) admitted that such was his own opinion, and was it possible that the noble Lord, a minister of the Crown, could, forced on by, and to gratify, the majority that were cheering behind him, consent to convey a covert insinuation, contrary to the truth 307 and the noble Lord's own declared opinion, against a member of the Royal Family? Not that he claimed any other privilege for his Royal Highness on that account beyond what he himself or any other gentleman was entitled to, namely, to be believed Upon his word. The noble Lord accused the inferior officers of the Orange Institution of treachery and misconduct in issuing these warrants without the knowledge of his Royal Highness. He thought the accusation most unjust; they might have been imprudent, but let the noble Lord and the House bear in mind the distinction on this point between the military and the Orange view of the question. Military men, very properly, as he thought, condemned the existence of Orange Lodges in the army; but Orangemen, as such, approved of their own society, and wished to extend it as far as possible. And further, it did not appear that the local managers of those lodges were aware of the general order of the Horse Guards against military lodges. Another distinction that must not be forgotten was, between a military man being an Orangeman and a military Orange Lodge, for he (Mr. Shaw) was as willing as any man to admit that when the Duke of Cumberland, as a Field Marshal, thought it right to be an Orangeman, his Royal Highness could not censure the same conduct in the humblest soldier when done in his private capacity. The noble Lord, indeed, thought that the Duke of Cumberland should entirely withdraw himself from the Orange Institution, but his Royal Highness thought otherwise, and all he would say in that respect was, that the Duke of Cumberland had the same right to exercise his independent opinion, as the noble Lord or any other Member of that House, and that His Royal Highness had not thought fit to abandon that institution. On the merits of Orange Societies, he at that late hour, would make but one observation, in answer to what had fallen from the noble Lord, as to what the noble Lord termed similar associations. He was not an Orangeman; he had never belonged to any political society; but he must say that it was most unjust, unfair, and ungrateful of a British minister, to class together Orange and Riband Associations, as if they were of a similar character. It might be thought that the Orange Institution was inexpedient or unwise, that its tendencies were on the whole injurious to society; but, in common justice, it never should be forgotten that, at all events, its objects were 308 good, its nature defensive, its conduct open and unreserved, its members ardently attached to British connexion and the British constitution, and ever ready to come forward, as many honourable friends of his had in that House, openly to avow and to justify their connexion with it, while, on the other hand, the. Riband society was admittedly a secret and illegal body associated for offensive and wicked purposes, against the law, the Government, and all British connexion—skulking in secrecy, denying its own existence, while the fact was notorious, and none of its members daring to come forward in the face of day to declare that they were Ribandmen. He hoped the noble Lord would alter the wording of the resolution.
§ Lord John Russell
stated, that he did not wish to agree to the resolution, stating that his Royal Highness, in contravention of an order issued from the Horse Guards, had signed warrants as Grand Master of the Orange Lodges of Ireland, which warrants were issued for constituting Orange Lodges in the army. Now, what he wished was, that the hon. Member for Middlesex would consent to omit the latter words—namely,"which warrants were issued for constituting Orange Lodges in the army." He considered that the omission of those words would meet the wishes of the right hon. Gentleman opposite.
§ Mr. Shaw
said, all he desired was, that if allusion was made in the resolution to the Duke of Cumberland at all, that the simple truth should be stated, which was, that his Royal Highness had signed blank warrants, and that they were afterwards issued without his knowledge. He did not think the noble Lord's Amendment would put the fact fairly or candidly; and he would move the insertion of the word "blank" before "warrants."
§ Lord John Russell
imagined they could only state what appeared on their minutes; and he repeated, that he did not wish to convey any insinuation of the kind alluded to by the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite. With regard to another point, his Royal Highness denied in his letter that he had issued warrants or countenanced the issuing of warrants, to regiments in his Majesty's service; and he went on to say "When such a proposal was made to me I instantly declined it, saying, that it was contrary to the regulations and orders issued from the Horse Guards." Now, he must say, that his Royal Highness having once declined on these grounds to issue 309 warrants to regiments, every one belonging to the Society, and who had the preparing of the warrants, should have been particularly careful that they were not issued to regiments.
§ Dr. Nicholl
rose amidst general cries of "Question!" We understood him to say that he would withdraw his Motion for the previous question, on the first four Resolutions, and move it only on the 5th and 6th. ["They are withdrawn."] Then he would not himself press his latter Amendment to a division, but merely suggest that the hon. Member should add words which would have the effect of extending the inquiry to all lodges or societies in the army of an exclusive nature. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin would have no objection to that. He had moved the previous question not because he approved of Orange Societies at all, but because he believed that the inquiry before the Committee was not complete—that the charge had been gone into, and no defence had been heard; and entertaining a strong opinion against Orange Societies, he was anxious that the whole of the evidence should be received, in order that those gentlemen who did belong to such Societies might be made to feel that they were put down after the most careful consideration, and not by mere clamour. With respect to the conduct of the individuals who had issued the warrants, he perhaps entertained as decided an opinion as did hon. Gentlemen who expressed themselves in stronger terms.
Sir Charles D'Albiac
concurred most fully in every thing that had been advanced or could be advanced on the impropriety of establishing Orange Lodges in the army. Nothwithstanding the situation which he held in the army, he had not the slightest idea of the existence of Orange Lodges in it. In his opinion they had not existed in the army since 1820.
§ Sir Ronald Fergusson
said, it was evident that where Orange Lodges did exist in the army, they had been established in the most cunning manner. The hon. and gallant Member, who inspected the cavalry, was about the last person to whom any information on the subject was likely to make its way.
§ Mr. Hume
said, in reply, that the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite expressed his belief, that since the year 1820 there were no Orange Lodges in the army. But what was to be found in the evidence? There was an Orange Lodge in March 310 last in the 15th Hussars—a cavalry regiment. As to the Duke of Cumberland's knowledge of the fact, why, if his Royal Highness had called for the list of his own lodge, he would have found upon it the names of from forty to fifty individuals who belonged to the army. With this fact in evidence, for his Royal Highness to have written such a letter, appeared to him to be an insult to the House. It had been suggested to him not to pass a censure on his Royal Highness; but he must say that this Resolution, according to his view of the case, was not half so strong or decided as they ought to make it. It merely stated a fact. Did his Royal Highness deny that he signed the warrants, and that they were issued to marching regiments; did he deny that? [Mr. Shaw: that is special pleading.] It was a downright fact. Here were warrants issued to constitute Orange Lodges in the Army, and no one was to be responsible for the act. Who was the party? He must join in the expression of surprise which fell from the noble Lord, at his Royal Highness continuing a day longer connected with an association, after he had discovered what had been done. Unless his Royal Highness withdrew from the Society, he could not believe him sincere in his reprobation of the proceedings. He should say, let his withdrawal be the test of his sincerity. Taking all the circumstances into consideration, he could not think it possible for his Royal Highness to be altogether ignorant of the fact that warrants were issued to the army. He agreed with his hon. and learned Friend in his quotation, which he thus translated:—"Let those believe it who could, he could not." In order to insure unanimity, he would consent to withdraw the two resolutions which had been referred to.
The Resolutions to the ninth were agreed to, on which the words implicating the Duke of Cumberland were proposed to be amended by the addition of the word "blank" making blank warrants.
§ The House divided on the original Question. Ayes 183; Noes 40; Majority 143.
|List of the AYES.|
|Adam, Admiral||Bernal, R.|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Bellew, Sir P.|
|Alston, R.||Bellew, R. M.|
|Attwood, T.||Blake, M. S.|
|Barnard, E. G.||Bentinck, Lord Geo,|
|Barry, G. S.||Bodkin, J.|
|Baldwin, Dr.||Bowring, Dr.|
|Baring, F.||Blamire, W.|
|Brabazon, Sir W.||Howard, R.|
|Browne, D.||Hobhouse, Sir J. C.|
|Brady, D. C||Hutt, William|
|Brodie, W.||Hume, J.|
|Bridgman, H.||Jephson, C.D.O.|
|Brotherton, J.||Kemp, T. R.|
|Biddulph, Robert||Labouchere, H.|
|Bish, T.||Leader, J. T.|
|Buckingham, J. S.||Lefevre, C. S.|
|Burton, H.||Lennox, Lord A.|
|Buller, E.||Lennox, Lord G.|
|Burdon, W.||Lemon, Sir C.|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Lushington, C.|
|Byng, Hon, George||Lynch, A. H.|
|Callaghan, D.||Maher, J.|
|Campbell Sir J.||Macnamara, J.|
|Carter, J. B.||Mangles, J.|
|Cave, O. R.||Martin, J.|
|Cavendish, Charles||Mackenzie, J. A. S.|
|Chalmers, P.||Marjoribanks, S.|
|Chetwynd, Captain||Macleod, R.|
|Colborn, R.||Maule, Hon. Fox|
|Collier, R.||Morpeth, Lord|
|Conyngham, Lord A.||Moreton, Hon. A.|
|Cowper, Hon W.||Murray, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Codrington Sir E.||Noel, Sir G. Bart.|
|Crawford, W.||O'Brien, C.|
|Crawford, W. S.||O'Brien, W. S.|
|Curteis, H, B.||O'Connell, D.|
|Dalmeny, Lord||O'Connell, M.|
|Denison, W.||O'Connell, M. J.|
|D'Eyncourt, Rt. Hn.C||O'Connor, Don|
|Dillwyn, L. W.||O'Ferrall, R. M.|
|Divett, E||O'Loghlen, M.|
|Donkin, Sir R.||Ord, W. H.|
|Duncombe, T. S.||Palmerston, Lord|
|Dunlop, J.||Parker, J.|
|Dykes, F. L.||Parnell, Sir H.|
|Ebrington, Viscount||Palmer, General C.|
|Elphinstone, Howard||Pattison, J.|
|Etwall, R.||Pease, J.|
|Evans, G.||Perrin, Serjeant|
|Ewart, W.||Pendarves, E. W.|
|Fergusson, Sir R.||Pechell, Captain R.|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn.C.||Philips, C. M.|
|Fitzgibbon, Hon. R.||Potter, R.|
|Fitzroy, Lord C.||Poulter, J. S.|
|Finn, W. T.||Ponsonby, Hon. W.|
|Fielden, John||Power, J.|
|French, F.||Power, P.|
|Gordon, R.||Price, Sir Robert|
|Grattan, H.||Pryse, P.|
|Grattan, J.||Pryme, G.|
|Grey, Sir G.||Raphael, A.|
|Grosvenor, Lord R.||Rice, Right Hon. T.S.|
|Grote, G.||Robinson, G. R.|
|Handley, H.||Roche, D.|
|Hay, Colonel L.||Roche, W.|
|Hawkins, J. H.||Rolfe, Sir R.|
|Hawes, B.||Ronayne, D.|
|Hector, J. C.||Russell, Lord|
|Heneage, Edward||Russell, Lord John|
|Hindley, C.||Ruthven, E.|
|Howard, P.||Scholefield, J.|
|Hodges, T. L.||Scrope, G. P.|
|Holland, E.||Seymour, Lord|
|Howick, Lord||Sheil, R. L.|
|Smith, V.||Warburton, H.|
|Smith, B.||Ward, H. G.|
|Stanley, E. J.||Westenra, Hon. H. R.|
|Steuart, R.||Westenra, Hon. Col. J. C.|
|Stuart, Lord J.|
|Sullivan, R.||Williams, W. A.|
|Strutt, Ed.||Williams, W.|
|Talbot, J. H.||Wilson, H.|
|Tancred, H. W.||Wood, Alderman|
|Thomson, Rt. Hon. C.||Wood, C.|
|Thompson, Colonel||Wilbraham, George|
|Thornely, T.||Wrightson, W.B.|
|Townly, R. G.||Wyse, T.|
|Tracy, H. C.||PAIRED OFF FOR.|
|Troubridge, Sir T.||Acheson, Lord|
|Tulke, C.A.||Bulwer, H. L.|
|Tynte, C. J K.||Chapman, M. L.|
|Verney, Sir H., Bart.||Clements, Lord|
|Vigors, N.||Dobbin, L.|
|Villiers, C. P.||Fitzsimon, C.|
|Walker, C. A.||Hall, Benjamin|
|Walker, R.||Mullins, F. W.|
|Wallace, R.||Nagle, Sir R. Bart.|
|Wakley, Thomas||Robarts, A. W.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Alsager, Captain||Meynell, Captain|
|Archdall, M.||Nicholl, Dr.|
|Buller, Sir J. Y.||Parker, M. E.|
|Burrell, Sir C.||Plunket, Hon. R. H.|
|Cole, Hon. A. H.||Praed, W. M.|
|Corry, Hon. H.||Price, S. G.|
|Dalbiac, Sir C.||Pringle, A.|
|Elley, Sir J.||Scarlett, Hon. R.|
|Finch, G.||Sibthorpe, Colonel|
|Gladstone, W. E.||Thomas, Colonel|
|Goulburn, Rt. Hn. H.||Trench, Sir F.|
|Grimstone, Hon. E.||Trevor, Hon. G.|
|Hamilton, Lord C.||Twiss, H.|
|Hill, Lord, A.||Vere, Lieut. Colonel|
|Inglis, Sir R. H.||Verner, Colonel|
|Jones, Captain||Vesey, Hon. T.|
|Lefroy, Rt. Hon. T.||Worcester, Marq, of|
|Lefroy, A.||Young, J.|
|Lincoln, Earl of|
|Longfield, R.||Ross, C.|
|Manners, Lord R.||Perceval, Colonel|