rose to move, pursuant to his notice, for a Return of all Outrages and Assaults committed on the person, property, and places of worship of Protestant Ministers of all denominations in Ireland; also a Return of all Outrages and Assaults committed on persons engaged in communicating religious instruction to the people of Ireland, from June, 1835, to the present time. The hon. Member said, that, in submitting this motion to the House, he wished to direct attention to a few facts, as bearing most importantly upon the present state of Ireland, and the policy of her Majesty's Government towards that country. It had been said, that the evils of Ireland arose from the continued impost of tithes, in which, it was alleged, all the heartburnings and discords which rent that portion of her Majesty's dominions had their origin. He regretted the absence from his place of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, because he meant to confute the statements of that hon. and learned Gentleman, that nothing could be more fair, just, or impartial, than the administration of Lord Mulgrave in Ireland, and that nothing could be more admirable than the execution of the laws in that country. Upon that subject he would not undertake to pronounce an opinion; he would content himself with stating a few facts connected with, and bearing upon the question. It had been said, he repeated, that hitherto tithes had been the cause of exciting all those feelings of animosity which prevailed in Ireland, and that by settling that question, peace and tranquillity would be established. A few facts would serve to show, that this was certainly a very questionable assertion. What had been the case of an individual wholly unconnected with tithes, he alluded to that of the rev. Mr. Hogg, a curate in the county of Leitrim? That Gentleman drew nothing from tithes, was wholly unconnected with tithes, but had distinguished himself by his extraordinary pastoral exertions, particularly in the erec- 757 tion of scriptural schools for the religious and moral instruction of his parishioners. He was universally respected by his neighbours of all classes, but there came a denunciation against him from a quarter to which he would presently allude, and in the month of October, 1836, his school was set fire to; in the November following, his out-houses were set on fire, and this unfortunate curate, when escaping from the flames of his own dwelling, was fired at and nearly wounded by assassins. This was not a mere assertion, for the fact was proved by proclamations in the Dublin Gazette, the rewards offered for the apprehension of the offenders, and the establishment of a police force in the house of the rev. gentleman for the protection of himself and his family. To this rev. gentleman the hostility was not therefore on account of tithes, but because he had discharged the philanthropic duty of endeavouring to educate his Roman Catholic parishioners. Then followed the case of the rev. Mr. Benson, a curate in the King's County, who had established evening service on the Wednesday in each week. That was an offence (and not from his connexion with tithes) for which he was to be visited with the penalty of death. The rev. gentleman was fired at on the 18th of May, 1836, and only escaped in consequence of the badness of the fire-arms used by the assassin. To show a continuance of this state of things, he would mention a case in the month of July, 1837; he would withhold the name from the public for reasons he had, but was ready to communicate it in private to the noble Lord, the Secretary for Ireland. This case was also one of a curate, unconnected with tithes, but who had also set up schools, and preached and instructed in the house of the Roman Catholic portion of his parishioners. He was denounced by the same quarter as in the former instances—he was warned that his house would be burnt, he despised the warning, and persevered. His house was set set on fire, and another warning followed, that he himself would be attacked. That second warning also he despised, and still persevered in his course with an intrepidity worthy of his cause, and not until the poor Roman Catholics who frequented his lectures were attacked and molested, did he desist from his labours, He gave these three specimens, and was content with them, though 758 he might easily multiply them to meet the assertions of a very high authority—no less than the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He was not at liberty to say where the noble Lord made those statements—he was not at liberty to allude to those publications which might have reported the noble Lord incorrectly, but he was at liberty to allude to a speech which the noble Lord had published to the country as his declared opinions on the state of Ireland. He found in that speech, as well as in the sources from which it had been derived, that the noble Lord, in answer to a statement of a noble Duke, was made to say, that "since he had been appointed to the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, no clergyman had been murdered in Ireland, and that there had been no murderous attacks on account of religion. That statement was most satisfactory, if correct; but would the House believe, that one month after the appointment of the noble Earl to the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland, the rev. Mr. Dawson, a clergyman in the county of Limerick, was murdered in broad day light? The Earl of Mulgrave sought by his statement to communicate to the other House and to the country that the lives of Protestant clergymen were safe in Ireland. Would the House, however, believe, that when referring to the returns moved for, and obtained by his hon. and learned Friend, the Member for Bandon, he found, that in two years no less than twelve violent assaults upon clergymen were proclaimed in the Gazette, for which rewards were offered; and, doubtless, there had been many more of which the Gazette had taken no notice. But he would take one part of Ireland, one diocese, that of Cashel and Emly, which embraced the County of Tipperary—a county which the House and the country had recently been informed, by a learned judge, was in a state of profound tranquillity. He would take a few facts connected with that diocese. In September, 1836, the rev. Mr. Coot was fired at, and narrowly escaped with his life—and in that case a reward of 50l. had been offered. The next was the rev. Mr. Herbert, of Newinn, who was attacked and wounded. The next the rev. Mr. Galwey, of Clonbeg; then the rev. Mr. Banner, who was attacked and nearly murdered in his own yard; and lastly he would instance the case of the rev. Mr. Scott, of Pallas Green, who was three 759 times attacked, and three times escaped, because information had been sent to him by an individual who had an insurance upon his life. These, with the case of the rev. Mr. Bagnal, of Ballintemple, made six instances within the period of Lord Mulgrave's Government, where clergymen had been made the special objects of attack, and had narrowly escaped with their lives. How then was it possible that the House or the country could receive the assertion that the lives of the clergymen were safe in Ireland when it appeared that matters stood thus? What did the noble Lord mean? Did the noble Lord mean to say, that the clergymen were safe because the assassins were bad marksmen. It was with unmingled surprise, he heard, that a nobleman should have the courage to make such a statement as that to which he had alluded. But these cases which he had mentioned, were those of Protestant curates, who had nothing whatever to do with tithes. Still, it had been said, that the curates were tainted with tithes. He would, therefore, take the case of persons who were not even curates, and who derived no emolument from tithes—he meant that of the missionaries in the islands in the west of Ireland. With respect to them, he would say, that they were just like the independent or Wesleyan missionaries to the Pacific or Western Islands, and all he asked was, that the lives of the missionaries in Ireland should be as safe as the missionaries to Otaheite, and that they should be as secure under the impartial and vigilant (as it was termed) Government of Lord Mulgrave as their fellow-labourers were under that of the barbarous chieftains of these savage islands. In the year 1834, it appears that the rev. Mr. Nangle went as a missionary to Achill, an island on the coast of Ireland, and that he was welcomed there warmly by the inhabitants upon whom the denunciations of the priest had no effect, and in a short time the influence of the missionary became very considerable. At that time the Roman Catholic Priest of the island was a rev. Mr. O'Meara, who was not thought to be sufficiently strong in his denunciations; he was removed, and his place supplied by the rev. Mr. Conolly, who was supposed to be of fitter temperament for that object. That rev. gentleman denounced Mr. Nangle in unmeasured terms, but even all his efforts failed 760 to persuade the inhabitants of Achill to turn their hands against the missionary, who had gained their veneration and esteem; and, accordingly, in the autumn of 1835, a period signalised by the procession of Lord Mulgrave, through Ireland, no less a personage than a Roman Catholic Archbishop, Dr. M'Hale, visited Achill with twelve priests. That he might not underrate the character of Dr. M'Hale, he would show the manner in which it was spoken of by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin. The hon. and learned Gentleman thus described him:—"He is a man of gigantic talents, of the greatest accomplishments, the most profound theologian of his church—a man whom he was proud to call his venerable friend." At a meeting of the Anti-Tory Association, in Dec. 1834, this was recorded of Dr. M'Hale by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin. However, Dr. M'Hale went to the island of Achill, and the accuracy of the facts he was about to state, could not be doubted by the House, inasmuch as they had been proved in courts of justice, and before a Committee of the other House of Parliament. In the first place, what had been proved to be the language used by some of those twelve priests in the chapel of Achill to their poor illiterate followers? He heard a portion of a sermon preached by one of them, in which the people were thus exhorted:—"Hold no communication with those missionaries; neither borrow nor lend, buy nor sell to them; shew them no kindness; withhold from them common courtesy; they are accursed of God and his Church, and should be abhorred." Another of those priests, named Conolly, had been proved to have said, "If any one of them (the missionaries) comes up to you in the field, knock him down with your spade, or stab him with your pitchfork." By others, women had been directed, if the missionaries came to their house, to be prepared with scalding water, and their husbands with sharpened pitchforks, and to direct them against the missionaries. Such had been the language delivered in the presence of Dr. M'Hale in the presence of one or other of his twelve priests, and the effect was immediate; the men were attacked; the women were assaulted; even children did not pass unhurt, and the missionaries themselves had scarcely escaped with their lives. Now, in order to show how entirely the feelings of the 761 people themselves differed from those of the priests, he begged to bring forward one fact. After all this violent language, and all the outrageous attacks, so lately as last spring, the Roman Catholic inhabitants of Clare Island, requested one of the missionaries (the rev. Mr. Baylie) to come and live amongst them, and give them the comfort of his pastoral assistance. He went, was most gratefully received and welcomed, and all went on well until July last, at the period of the general election. The House would not fail to have observed, that, in Achill, all had been peace and tranquillity until Dr. M'Hale and his priests visited it. In Clare Island the same was the case from March, until July, 1837, when Dr. M'Hale and his apostolic missionaries of peace landed at Clare Island. On a former evening the noble Lord, at the head of the Home Department, had said, that he strongly condemned all political harangues on the part of the bishops of the established Church, and he trusted the noble Lord would equally condemn such language as a Roman Catholic Archbishop in Ireland had adopted. In July last the elections came on, and Dr. M'Hale had sent an excuse for not being present at the hustings of a particular county in Ireland. What would be said if any of the archbishops or bishops of the Established Church presented himself at the hustings of Middlesex or Surrey? What a shout of indignation would be heard from the benches opposite—and yet Dr. M'Hale, in a letter published in the newspapers, regretted that he could not be presented at the hustings of the county of Mayo; and why? Because he said, his presence was required to put out the venomous fanatics who had invaded Achill. Now, what was the consequence of Dr. M'Hale's crusade against the missionary of Achill? He was obliged to fly for his life and take refuge under the protection of the coast guard, and the islanders told the coast guard that they had the archbishop's orders to take his life. Such were the provocations to bloodshed addressed to the Roman Catholic laity by their bishops and archbishops. He could multiply instances of their interference for this purpose. There was the case of Mr. Stoney, who was guilty of holding a controversy with a Roman Catholic priest, and for this offence was attacked on the highway. He did not say anything of the 762 soundness of Mr. Stoney's controversial doctrines, possibly he might not like them much; but what he did say was, that a man ought not to have his head broken for an argument. There were lectures given in Dublin by Roman Catholic priests on points of doctrine respecting which the Church of England and the Church of Rome were at issue, and Dr. Wiseman some time ago gave lectures in London on the same subject. All this was very fair and very proper; but was it to be endured, under the benignant and vigorous administration of Lord Mulgrave, that Mr. Stoney should not have a controversy with Priest Hughes without being attacked on the highway? He had still a more pungent illustration of the kind of influence which the Catholic priesthood exercised. It was the case of a simple steward, Mr. Tully, of Halston, who had spoken to his neighbours, who were in the habit of drinking a little too much, and of indulging in other vices, and advised them to read their Bibles, and leave off their intemperate habits. Now, one would have thought that this was no very grievous offence; but it seemed that in the eye of the Roman Catholic priests it was an offence for which the man ought to be punished with death. The parish priest denounced him from the altar on the 16th of September, 1836, and on the very same day, two hours afterwards, four ruffians repaired to the house of this Presbyterian steward, and, not finding him at home, beat his servant nearly to death, of which offence they were convicted at the Quarter Sessions. There were numerous other cases in which Roman Catholics who had ventured to read the Scriptures had been deemed to be guilty of an offence that ought to be visited with death. The Scripture-readers were denounced by the priests, and they declared that no man should read the Scriptures to a Roman Catholic. They pronounced most dreadful curses against all who should venture to disobey their injunctions, and the following was a specimen of the style of their anathemas—"one hundred thousand curses against any man who would take a Bible from a Protestant." He must say, then, that reading the Scriptures, or even controverting doctrines held to be essential by persons belonging to the Roman Catholic communion, ought not to bring peril of life and person with it; and that if these denunciations, made by the priests from 763 the altar, led to assaults upon the parties against whom these denunciations were directed, it became the law of England to step in, and to give them protection for their lives and property. He had it on the respectable authority of Mr. Winning, that whole families, teachers, and scholars, had been most inhumanly abused, and that his informant had seen them covered with wounds and bruises, their faces disfigured, and their eyes closed. He would not weary the House by entering into the details of many more cases of this kind, but there were two to which he would venture to advert, as they afforded a vivid illustration of the manner in which the life of a Roman Catholic was placed in jeopardy if he dared to think for himself. A Roman Catholic schoolmaster had the audacity to go to a Protestant Church; on the same Sabbath, in open day, on the high road, that man was murdered, and the parish priest took out of the murdered man's pocket some Protestant books, and said to the assembled people, who were looking at the bleeding victim, that his death was a judgment of GOD. Again, in the parish of Ballinrobe, an old woman at the point of death sent for the Protestant clergyman of the place, and when he asked her how it was that she, a Roman Catholic, had sent for him to attend her in her last moments, her reply was, "I have been a Protestant these ten years, but I never dared to acknowledge it, because I knew that if I did, every member of my family would be obliged to leave the parish, or would be exposed to the most constant and the most unwearying persecution." Thus that woman, with such deep conviction of the truth of the Protestant religion, that she would not leave the world without receiving spiritual consolation from a clergyman of the Established Church, had been obliged to suppress her own convictions for ten long miserable years, because she dreaded what the consequences would be to her family. And let the House mark what the consequence was. It became known, that the woman had died a Protestant, and her family was obliged to quit the parish; these were the proofs of impartial justice, of vigorous administration, and of the unbounded and halcyon tranquillity that was to be found under the Government of Lord Mulgrave. But this was not all. Attempts had been made, by assaults upon Protestant clergymen, 764 to put down free worship in Ireland. He had met with twenty-three cases of this kind in the course of his own limited experience of Ireland. [Hear.] He had met with these twenty-three cases within the last few months, and if he had possessed that more extended acquaintance, and that larger connection with Ireland, which the gentlemen who cheered enjoyed, he doubted not that those cases would have increased a hundred fold. He would, however, give a specimen of those which had come within his own knowledge. In Waterford, in 1837, as the noble Lord (Lord Morpeth) perfectly knew, the service was violently interrupted, and the Protestant clergyman was obliged to leave the room in which it was performed. In Limerick, in 1836, a clergyman, not of the Church of England, but of the Presbyterian persuasion, was treated in a similar manner. He did not mention the disturbances which had taken place in Carlow, but an occurrence which showed that not merely the Church of England, but Protestantism, was to be extirpated if possible, took place in Ballyshannon, in November, 1837, when a Wesleyan congregation was assailed. On the 8th of August, 1836, the dean of Cashel was attacked in the Church-yard with violence, and he was obliged to desist from reading the service for the dead. In Carlow, Mr. Emerson was attacked in like manner. He knew what would be the defence which would be set up in answer to his charge—provocation by controversy; but he would then repeat his former question—were we in a free country, and had we a right to enjoy liberty of opinion? Mr. Emerson and Dr. Adams, however, could not be charged with exciting the ill-will of the Roman Catholics by controversy, for when they were interrupted they were performing the last services over the dead. Such were the facts of which he had given specimens. He asserted, then, that in the first place, curates, possessing no connexion with tithes, were attacked, and that missionaries were hunted as if they were wild beasts, and that these consequences flowed from the denunciations of the priests, and not from the bad feeling of the Roman Catholic population. Such were the facts. What then was the conduct of the Government? The noble Lord at the head of the Irish Government had told the country, that there unhappily 765 did exist in Ireland combination to a considerable extent, but that it was a combination for the purpose of obtaining land, and that as to any combination of a bigoted kind existing, no such thing was to be found. Now, with such facts staring him in the face, how could the noble Lord have dismissed them from his mind when he delivered that sentence? The noble Lord then boasted of his vigorous administration of justice. What were the facts? The noble Lord proclaimed in his Gazettecertain rewards for the discovery a criminals. The sum of 13,000l. was offered for detection, and how much did the House think was paid? It appeared from the noble Lord's own returns that 320l. was paid, so that, out of every forty-one offences, so gross, so flagrant, that the Government of Ireland considered it necessary to offer a reward for the apprehension of the offenders, forty were unpunished. Out of every forty-one rewards forty were unclaimed, and one claimed. Next the noble Lord attacked the landlords of Ireland, and attributed to their conduct the heartburnings by which the country was distracted. He was not there to defend the landlords of Ireland. It would be very unbecoming in him to attempt to do so, when they were ready and able to defend themselves; but this he would say, that in one of the two cases to which the noble Lord referred in proof of what he had advanced, he attacked a noble Friend of his, who instantly rose in his place, and extracted from the noble Lord a confession, that the only authority which he had for the statement was derived from the miserable pages of a country newspaper. He knew, that the noble Lord would say, that since that time fresh information had transpired. But that circumstance did not affect the correctness of his allegation—that when the noble Lord made the charge his only information was derived from newspaper authority. But suppose, that the landlords of Ireland were guilty of all that the noble Lord had laid to their charge, how was it that the noble Lord did not tell the country of Dr. M'Hale's itinerant visit to Achill, and of the mild and benignant influence which flowed from his instructions? If that were the only accusation which he had to bring against the Government, he would say, that he considered the Government was deeply responsible for the suppression of facts with which 766 they must have been acquainted. This, then, was one charge; but he had another to prefer. Not only had they not interfered to protect the Protestants, but they had themselves abetted the policy of the Roman Catholic priests. In 1835 the priests of Connaught, with Dr. M'Hale at their head, addressed Lord Mulgrave in a strain declaratory of their anxiety to see harmony and tranquillity maintained in Ireland. The reply of Lord Mulgrave contained a passage in which he said he could see no reason why he should not expect to see them distinguished by the brotherly love which so well befitted their station. One short month after this amiable interchange of blandishments, the priests of Connaught were doing all in their power to excite the people against their Protestant brethren. The noble Lord, as the House knew by the case of Captain Vignolles, was in the habit of writing homilies of advice. Did he send, he would ask, a letter to those agitators, and say, "I thought you were ministers of peace, but I find you ministers of war?" He should like to know whether the noble Lord had addressed to Dr. M'Hale any exhortation of that kind. All that the noble Lord did was to encourage his right rev. correspondent to go on in the course which he had begun. When the magistrates at Tuam refused to interfere to put a stop to the outrage which occurred there, they were not dismissed, as was the case with his hon. and gallant Friend, the Member for Armagh. Again, when a constable laid hold of a Protestant preacher and put him in prison, so far was he from being punished, that he was promoted to be a stipendiary magistrate. Again, when the constable at Waterford declined to interfere in order to preserve the peace on the occasion of the riots in the cathedral, and desired the clergy to keep the peace themselves, the Lord-lieutenant certainly told him that he had done very wrong, but he was not punished for his misconduct. But he had not done yet. When the Government of Ireland was in fear of Protestant processions, nearly all the troops in the country were marched down to Ulster in order to keep the peace: was any force sent to preserve tranquillity among the islanders of Achill? A churchyard was desecrated in Carlow, but no reward was offered for the detection of the offenders; and although a reward was offered for the apprehension of the parties 767 concerned in the outrage of Derry, it was only after many representations had been made to the Government on the subject. Again, a Protestant clergyman was attacked, and what was the reward offered by the Irish Government for the detection of the murderer? The sum of 50l. Nearly at the same time, and in the same district, the dairy of a notorious agitator was broken, and the reward offered by the Lord lieutenant for the apprehension of the parties concerned in this most nefarious and unparalleled outrage was—how much did they think? 75l.! He should have ventured to suppose, that the life of any man, much more that of a Protestant clergyman, was of more value than the contents of any dairy; but this was the manner in which the Irish Government had exerted itself to maintain the independence of Protestant worship and the security of the Protestant ministers of Ireland. There was one remark often made in this House in which he fully agreed, that there had been much mal-administration on the part of the English Governments in Ireland. Without referring to the Administrations since the Union, adverting only to those of the last century, he could not but admit, that, whether in the hands of Whigs or Tories, there had been one characteristic vice in the Irish Government, that it had deferred to the wishes, and consulted the interests, of a small portion, too often of some leading families in Ireland, instead of promoting the interests of the great body of the people. They had governed in deference to the views of a few, and it mattered not to him though these few were Protestants, and boasted of their exclusive regard for Protestantism. But it did not improve the matter, that the present Government adopted the like vicious system, only that the interests which they consulted, and the views by which they were guided, were those of an opposite, though of an unequally narrow section. Their policy was directed by the Romish hierarchy, and was made subservient to the worst effects, of the worst and most intolerant section of the Irish priesthood. On this ground he could not but arraign in the strongest terms the system of policy pursued by the present Government in Ireland. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving for the returns, as previously specified.
§ Viscount Morpeth
begged to state, as a matter of fact merely, and not as a matter of reproach, that often as the notice of the hon. Gentleman opposite had appeared on the votes of the House, he had never received from him any intimation that he intended to urge any ground of complaint against the Government in connection with the motion, or that he intended to do more than simply to move for the information which he was both ready and willing that the hon. Member and the House should be supplied with. Having been wholly uninformed, therefore, as to the particular cases which it was the hon. Member's intention to bring before the House, he was not sure that he should be able, with respect to all the cases the hon. Member had mentioned, to join in the discussion with him very fully; but he should not, at the same time, shrink from grappling with the inferences the hon. Member had drawn from his statements. He had no need to observe that many of the details stated by the hon. Gentleman could not fail to excite in his mind, and in the minds, he should think, of every one present, feelings of the deepest concern and of unqualified reprobation. They partook largely of some of the worst ingredients in the bitter cup of human woes and wrongs, religious bigotry and persecution. Too long had that cup overflowed in Ireland; and he was not speaking in palliation of the offences which had been committed, but he was speaking the language of sad experience and consenting history; that in that unhappy country, all sects and parties had, in their time, given but too many opportunities for recrimination, and too many incentives to reprisal. As a Protestant himself, he trusted that he was not wanting in zeal for the honour and welfare of the faith to which he adhered, but he should be still more wanting in truth if he claimed for the Protestants on the soil of Ireland an entire acquittal of the charge of having given offence and of having provoked hostilities from the votaries of the other creed. He would not go very far upon this point however, but he thought it would be found, that if a fair view were taken of the state of Ireland, it would be seen at once that all the wrongs which were complained of did not proceed from one side only. The instances of violence were not confined to the Catholics, but there were numerous instances of disrespect being shown to the Roman Catholic places of worship, and of outrages being 769 committed in them; and cases might be quoted in which the Protestants of Ulster had behaved with great violence even to the teachers and scholars of the new national system of education. A communication had reached the Government not long ago, in the year before last, which he would read. It was as follows:—In the month of September, 1836, it was considered not only useful but necessary to have a bell placed on the chapel of Loughgall, for the purpose of summoning the people on Sundays to morning and evening prayers, as also to toll for funerals. To effect this, a voluntary subscription was set on foot: not only did Roman Catholics, but Protestants, contribute generously. In the beginning of August, 1837, the bell was placed in the belfry, and continued to toll unmolested for some Sundays. But it was clearly observable to all, in the month of September, that the spirit of party, which had been scarcely visible in this neighbourhood, began to appear as openly as ever. Many circumstances tended to arouse this spirit. The beating of drums became much more frequent on Beaver's-hill, Cock-hill, Clonmain, and in the other places where it had been partially discontinued; the Orange lodges, which in this neighbourhood had, indeed, never been closed, were more numerously attended; shooting-matches were carried on at Robert Orr's house, in the vicinity of the chapel; threats were held out that they would soon pull down what the Roman Catholics had raised; an emissary was sent to the Birches to call upon others to assist in wrecking Loughgall chapel. This person, named John Lounsdale, was heard declaring, that all was already planned—that a number of armed men were to come from the Birches, as many from Killyman, to destroy the chapel. This can be attested by John M'Guick, of Derryvinney. The officiating clergyman, having got timely intimation of the premeditated attack, called on the police for assistance; but as their presence was observed, the attempt was postponed to a later time; this first intended attack was on the 1st of September. On the 28th of the same month (September), information was given to policeman Cavanagh, of the Charlemont station, that a party were to proceed that night to the work of destruction at Loughgall chapel; the informant is a respectable Protestant (whose name must remain secret, unless absolutely necessary to be disclosed), who wrote to the captain of the police in Armagh, recommending him to prevent such an outrage. A police force of seven men was sent out, and arrived at the chapel at one o'clock on the morning of Friday, the 29th, just in time to prevent the completion of the deed; the Loughgall police not being there, who did know the localities, and the others not being acquainted with them, gave the wreckers an opportunity of effecting their escape, after leaving all the implements behind them which 770 they had carefully brought, viz., ropes, a cable, a crow-bar, a ladder, a sack of hay to mount the roof with, and two handspikes. From this time it was openly announced, that, despite police or any force, they would accomplish their design. The police sergeant, Wilson, heard it often declared; an increase of four men was added to his station; they patrolled occasionally on the Chapel-road at night, and often met with threats and insults. At length, on the 6th of October, word was brought both to the clergyman and the police, that preparations were making in different parts for an open and violent attack; and although a police force of twelve men were ready to repulse the attack, yet fearful of affording a pretext for a renewal of the horrors and wreckings that occurred about three years since in this neighbourhood, and disposed to sacrifice his own feelings rather than the people be exposed to these midnight marauders, the officiating clergyman directed the bell to be taken down. As had been threatened, they did come in considerable numbers. In the Birches, they were seen assembling by Samuel Hanlon. About a dozen of that party were seen returning home, all armed, at twelve at night, by Matthew M'Niece. About twenty of the Diamond party were not only seen returning by Elizabeth M'Guick, armed, and all dressed in white trousers, but were spoken to; they threatened to shoot her, broke all her windows, and destroyed some articles of furniture about the house.Another instance which he would name was of rather a ludicrous character, but it still served to show the feeling of the people. A calf's head was placed on the altar of a Catholic chapel on a Saturday night. He would next refer to a proclamation in The Dublin Gazelle, March 31, 1837:—On the 17th instant, a number of nice (amongst whom was one named John Shannon) sworn to belong to the Orange Lodge, No. 115, met at the house of J. Lindsay, publican, of Tanderage, in the county of Armagh, and severely beat a man named John Hughes, for refusing to utter profane party expressions; and on the following night, in consequence of the said Hughes having lodged informations for the assault, a large party broke into the house where he was sleeping, and pushing him on the fire, held him there until he was seriously burned.The next case which he would read had reference to Mr. Gore Jones.When the verdict against Mr. Gore Jones was made known, the Orangemen paraded the streets of Portglenone and Kilree on the 28th of June, 1837. They burned tar-barrels, together with the effigies of Mr. Jones and a most exemplary Catholic clergyman, shouting, 771 'To hell with the Pope and traitor Jones!' Stones were thrown at the police when they made an attempt to discharge their duty; and such was the terror excited, that no Catholic dared to open his door during the night.At the Ballymahon Petty Sessions, of Nov. 20 1837, three gentlemen, he did not wish to mention names, but some of whom were magistrates, and one of whom was one of the persons returned in the judges' list as high sheriff for next year, were charged with rioting, and a violent assault, on the night of the 15th. The gentlemen were drunk, after a foxhunter's dinner, and assaulted some countrymen on the road, shouting at the same time," Fox for ever!" "To hell with Higgins, Dawson, and M'Gaver (three priests)! where are they now? We'll trample on the Papist spirit, as we ever did." One of the gentlemen had a pistol, which he presented at a witness. Informations were received against the party, who were bound over to appear at quarter sessions. He would next quote a case which was most painful in its nature.On the eve of St. Peter and St. Paul (28th June, 1837), at Mullyash-mountain, county of Monaghan, a number of children were amusing themselves round a bonfire, which had been kindled in honour of the festival (a Catholic Observance), when some men from a higher position on the mountain, fired a volley, killing two, and wounding two others, all children of an honest and inoffensive Catholic farmer.It might be observed, that this charge was not brought home to any party, and that it was not fair, therefore, that it should be charged to the Protestants. He was quite content that this mode of considering the question should be adopted, provided, however, it was carried out; for if it were adopted in one case, it must also be adopted in another, and it was not fair, therefore, to attribute the murder of Mr. Whitty and Mr. Ferguson to the Catholics, as it had not been distinctly brought home to them. There was another murder committed at Ballyjamesduff, which was described to have been committed only on a hellish Papist. He was not, then, to be told that all the outrage and provocation was on one side. Unhappily, in a country torn by contending parties like Ireland, outrages would take place; but they could not be imputed to one particular class by any persons who would fairly look to the outrages that had been committed in the north of Ireland—the wrecking of houses, 772 and the ejectment of the tenantry. He did not think, then, that it was either fair or candid to represent all the outrages and offences as coming from only one party in politics or religion. But whatever had been the effect in previous times, this he could safely venture to say, in vindication of the noble Earl at the head of the Government in Ireland and of himself, that it had been their single and undivided desire to give full protection to all parties and to all persons, of whatever religious denomination, to give to all, without distinction or difference, the equal protection of the law, and to put down every shape and form of outrage. The hon. Gentleman spoke of the want of equality in the administration of the law by Lord Mulgrave's government, and remarked on the disproportion that existed between the rewards offered for the commission of outrages, and the amounts that were really claimed and paid. On this point, he would refer to former experience; he would refer the hon. Gentleman to what had happened under former governments in Ireland, and it would appear that although a great number of rewards were offered, there were very few instances of these rewards being claimed. Was that fact, then, to be brought forward at the present time as a charge against Lord Mulgrave's government. Neither himself nor that noble Lord had been brought up in a school—and his noble Friend had shown this in every clime, and to persons of all colours—where they would acquire those feelings which would make them indifferent to religious liberty; and for himself he would add, that he never would be a party to gag the gospel. The hon. Gentleman stated, that he had omitted from his present motion all outrages which arose from the collection of tithes; but whether this arose from that being the origin of almost all the mischief and excitement, he could not say. But, independently of this, he understood the hon. Gentleman to say, that there existed a systematic persecution of the Protestant clergy and of Protestants generally, and that the Government actually connived at this organised system of terror. Now, whether the persons who had been the subjects of these outrages had made a confidant of the hon. Gentleman, and had sent information to him which they had not thought fit to communicate to the Government, he could not tell; but he hoped when the documents were produced—and he would take 773 care that they should be, accompanied with the correspondence and statements which would explain all that had taken place in regard to these alleged outrages—that they would show, that there had not been wanting on the part of the Government the disposition to take all proper steps to expose and punish them. The hon. Member alluded to a speech that had been made last year in the House of Lords, by the noble Earl at the head of the Irish Government, in which he stated, that since the period at which he took upon himself the administration of public affairs, no Protestant clergyman had lost his life in Ireland by violence or outrage. He admitted, that his noble Friend had omitted, no doubt from the forgetfulness of the moment, the case of Mr. Dawson, who was murdered during the first month of his noble Friend's administration in Ireland. But if the character of the Government was to be determined by the number of outrages against Protestant clergymen and Protestants generally, he could claim for the Government to which he belonged a very favourable contrast as compared with former administrations, for the life of no Protestant clergyman had been lost during the last three years, and, therefore, virtually, to almost the fullest extent, the statement of his noble Friend had been borne out. The same, however, could not be said in behalf of those governments with which the present was placed in contrast. The hon. Gentleman was not the only one who had made such statements as that which he had that night addressed to the House. One had recently appeared in a country newspaper in Ireland advocating the same political principles and actuated by the same feelings as evidently influenced the hon. Gentleman on this subject. He should quote the passage he alluded to from The Tipperary Constitution, which was a strong Conservative newspaper, and which, by the nature of the language used, manifested the character which influenced it:—Our vain viceroy is reported to have stated in his place in the House of Lords, that 'no clergyman of the Established Church had received either insult or injury during his abominable administration.' How he could thus dare to trifle with the outraged feelings of her Majesty's loyal subjects, we will not venture to say; but if he made such assertion, he has a very mulled conscience indeed, In our last we furnished a list of those clergymen, who, during the past few years, were 774 victims of Popish persecution, not only in property and person, but even unto death; many attacks, however, of an atrocious and savage nature, are omitted, and for the discovery of the perpetrators of some of them this very Mulgrave, or his ghost, has offered sundry rewards, The following catalogue, alphabetically arranged, includes those we have already published, and others which have come within our limited observation. We hesitate not to say there are many more, and rely upon the exertions of our Conservative contemporaries to make good the deficiencies. It is absolutely necessary to show the English public how little reliance can be placed on the vapourings of Lord Mulgrave.Then follows the list of the alleged outrages:—The Church of Ireland, at the present day, affords as frightful a list of martyrs in the cause of true religion as that given by John Fox. Some hon. Member should move that the list be laid on the table of the House, to show the fell spirit with which the Protestant clergy have been persecuted. The spirits of those men, who, in our own, and in olden times, witnessed a good confession and sealed it with their blood, call upon us, in this season, big with impending calamities, to gird ourselves for the defence of our holy religion—to unfold in the strength of the living God a cause which they sustained with their arguments and cemented with their blood. Protestantism, though slumbering, has in herself the elements of might. Let her awake, then, and quickly. The Philistines of Popery are preparing to pounce upon her, and plunder her of her precious privileges. Let her spread her wings, and be ready to bear down upon her foes. Yes, brothers, let us show, that the spirit of Protestantism, if it has lain dormant, has never been extinguished; but that there are staunch and true hearts among us, who hold religion dearer than their substance. Let us bind ourselves by the name of him who liveth and abideth for ever, to preserve unimpaired the privileges bequeathed us, and to hand down the true religion established among us unsullied to posterity, that it may become to future generations the same blessing and safeguard it has been to the past,Now, in this list of outrages on Protestant clergymen, there were four cases of Protestant clergymen who were set down as murdered, all of which occurred long before either his noble Friend or himself was connected with the government of Ireland. There was another case—namely, that of the rev. Mr. Grady, who was alleged to have been pounded to death in the streets of Carrick-on-Suir, respecting which he had a few observations to make. In answer to this statement in The Tipperary Constitution respecting the rev. 775 Mr. Grady, a number of the most respectable inhabitants of the town of Carrickon-Suir printed a document in another newspaper, denying the truth of this statement, which had been made a prominent topic of remark on the frightful state of Ireland in some recent newspapers. This paper was signed by eighteen of the most respectable inhabitants of the town, including the justices of the peace, the churchwardens, and the postmaster; and out of these eighteen persons eleven were Protestants. This document was as follows:—Having seen a publication in The Tipperary Constitution of the 12th of December instant, purporting to be a list of clergymen of the Established Church who had been killed or persecuted within a short period, and finding that the list has obtained circulation through the columns of some English papers, we, the undersigned Protestant and Catholic inhabitants of the town of Carrick-on-Suir, feel ourselves called upon, in justice to the character of the town, and in the cause of truth, to declare, that the part of that publication which represents the rev. Mr. Grady as having been 'pounded to death in the streets of Carrick-on-Suir' is a mis-statement. Mr.Grady's death happened in 1829, and was caused by accident. A quarrel having occurred between some of a party of the 76th regiment, then quartered in town, and some soldiers of the 65th, who were marching through, a riot ensued, in which part of the populace joined, and a boy was killed. Mr. Grady, who was a magistrate, and had been dining that day at Mr. Wall's, of Coolnamuck, was sent for, to suppress the riot; on proceeding through the street his horse came in contact with that of a policeman, who was riding at a rapid pace against him; the concussion was so violent that Mr. Grady was thrown off, and his spine so dreadfully fractured that he expired in four days after. This unfortunate accident occurred on the 8th June, 1829; and it is but fair to add, the rev. Mr. Grady was extremely and deservedly popular, and that his death was deplored and lamented by all classes of society, in the town, as well as by his own flock.—Carrick-on-Suir, Dec. 30, 1837.So much for the story of the clergyman pounded to death in the streets of Carrick-on-Suir. Such was the ingenuity of faction, and the perversion of truth in which it indulged. Again, although the hon. Gentleman could not bring forward a case of murder, he dwelt at some length on the case of the rev. Mr. Hogg. If the hon. Gentleman would exercise his diligence in making inquiry into this case, he would find that the suspicions in that case were traced to other grounds than sect- 776 arian or religious difference. When, how ever, the hon. Gentleman was bringing his charges against Lord Mulgrave's Government for what had taken place, he did not allude to the language used by that noble Lord in reference to some proceedings that had recently taken place in the south of Ireland respecting the ejectment of the peasantry. On that subject, however, he should be happy if Lord Bandon would avail himself of an opportunity of giving even some further explanation on the subject. The hon. Gentleman had alluded to an outrage that had taken place in the churchyard belonging to the cathedral of Derry, in consequence of the Roman Catholic clergyman going into it for the purpose of performing some religious ceremonies at the grave of a lady of that creed. That subject was brought under the attention of the House a short time ago, and he had thought after the discussion of the other night that the general feeling of the House seemed to be that of satisfaction with the course taken by the Government. The hon. Gentleman also alluded to certain proceedings that were alleged to have occurred in the church of Tuam, and he complained, that the Government did not dismiss the magistrate who refused to take cognisance of the matter. It appeared from the statement of the magistrate who had been called upon to give an explanation of his conduct, that he had thought that there was a great risk of popular tumult in case Mr. Nolan was allowed to preach. He had himself written to the magistrate on the subject, and had felt it to be his duty to censure him for the conduct he pursued on this occasion: he, therefore, could not on this point be charged with conniving at a breach of the law, and with not being willing to allow full liberty of preaching. As for what had taken place in the cathedral of Waterford, he had no doubt that he should be able to furnish a satisfactory answer to the hon. Gentleman's statement. The Government had taken every step in its power to bring the offenders to justice, not subsequently to, but previous to, the memorial alluded to by the hon. Member being presented to the Government. It was said, that the outrage had taken place, and the parties had been enabled to escape, in consequence of the want of vigour manifested by the Government. He could only say, that the Crown Solicitor, who had been instructed by the Government to prosecute the persons guilty of the alleged outrage, declared 777 that he had taken every means in his power to vindicate the law. He stated, that he called upon the solicitor for the memorialists, and told him his object was, to obtain such information as would enable him to bring the offending parties to trial, and if possible to convict them; and he also said, that he made the application for his assistance in consequence of a communication with which his excellency had honoured him. He added, that previous to the trials some communications took place, and this Gentleman stated to him what he thought certain witnesses would prove, but he declined co-operating with him on their trials. So, then, it appeared the fact was, that the solicitor employed to conduct the prosecution and carry on the indictment on the part of the Crown was refused assistance in those proceedings by the solicitor of the memorialists, and, therefore, he was unable to bring those who committed this outrage in the cathedral of Waterford to justice. The hon. Member had imputed to the Government a want of zeal and good-will in putting a stop to such outrages as those that had been committed in the cathedral church of Waterford, and above all, he charged them with the desire of preventing the preaching such truths from the pulpits of Protestant places of worship as the rev. persons whose duty it was to perform the offices of divine worship felt it their duty to put forth. Now, what were the orders that had been issued by the Government on this subject? The mayor of Waterford, on being called upon for an explanation of his conduct in reference to the case to which he had just adverted, stated that he did not interfere on the occasion because he had previously warned the rev. gentleman against pursuing the course which he had intimated that it was his intention of doing, and he had urged him not to discharge the high functions of his sacred office in a way which was likely to lead to riot and confusion. On this answer being received from the mayor of Waterford, the Lords Justices, in the absence of the Lord-Lieutenant, addressed the following communication to him:—The Lords Justices are satisfied that the mayor, in adopting this course, was actuated by a very laudable desire to prevent any disturbance of the public peace; but their excellencies are apprehensive that, in his anxiety to attain this desirable end, he may have overlooked the important object of preserving to every clergyman the free and unrestricted exercise of his right to preach in any place of worship legally offered to him for such pur- 778 pose, and to discuss any such subject as that announced in the accompanying placard. Their excellencies would suggest, that the more advisable course for a magistrate to adopt, if he apprehends any breach of the peace on such an occasion, would be, to give public warning of his intention to have taken into custody any one who shall interrupt the preaching and thereby be the cause of a public disturbance. With respect to preaching out of doors, circumstances may render it the duty of a magistrate to prevent or put a stop to it; but, with regard to preaching within doors his object should be to impress on those whose feelings are likely to be hurt and excited by such discourses, that they have themselves to blame, if they hear language and sentiments which are offensive to them. The acceptance of the invitation addressed to them is not compulsory; but if they choose voluntarily, and of their own accord, to be present, they must observe the decent demeanour becoming those attending a place of worship. The magistrate has full power to enforce such propriety of conduct; and the law has put at his disposal ample means of giving effect to his authority, if it should be resisted.He must also say, that when the hon. Member represented the preaching the truths of the gospel to be such a dangerous thing, and stated that when it was done openly and boldly, it was likely to be followed by loss of life and limb, he manifested anything but a familiar knowledge of what was passing in Ireland. The fear of what had been so strongly painted by the hon. Member, did not deter, at the present moment, the rev. Mr. Gregg from challenging, in the midst of a population, the very large proportion of which were Roman Catholics, the whole body of the Roman Catholic clergy to a contest with him on the tenets of their Church. The hon. Member had not alluded to a case that had recently occurred in the city of Londonderry, where a rev. Gentleman had been prevented preaching. What were the facts of the case? The rev. Gentleman alluded to by the hon. Gentleman, namely, the rev. Tully Cribbace, after complaining that he had been imprisoned by the magistrates of the city for preaching on the 28th of May, 1837, in the open air, went on to say:—The opposition to my preaching in this city, arises entirely from the high church and close corporation parties, who perceive that my doctrine being so well received by the intelligent and serious of all parties, was cutting up by the root their exclusive influence. In their first statement contained in the committal, they honestly bring forward the grounds of their opposition, and these are nothing but my religious principles, held by all Presby- 779 terians and Dissenters, and to attack the preaching of which, therefore, is a direct violation of the Act of Toleration.Thus her Majesty's Government, in this instance at least, flew to the vindication of religious liberty and full licence of preaching against the high church and corporation party of the city of Londonderry, who wished to put a stop to it. The hon. Gentleman had also dwelt on the state of the island of Achill, and on the great number of outrages and offences which he alleged were committed against the Protestant inhabitants of it. He did not deny, that a great deal of excitement existed there, and certainly in some respects called for the interference of the Government, but he was by no means sure that this would restore peace. What, however, had been said by the hon. Member had reference only to the complaints made on one side. Now he (Lord Morpeth) would read a communication which had been made to him, by the chief constable of police of the district, whom he had directed to make a report to him in consequence of the conflicting statements sent to him from all parties respecting what was taking place in this island. It might also be proper for him to state, that the chief constable from whom he received this document, was not appointed by the present Government, but had been in office since 1823, and that he was an officer of high character and great experience. He said:—I have read the annexed documents. The object of the Achill mission is to make converts from the Roman Catholic religion; a most violent and vindictive feeling of a sectarian kind is engendered thereby, and exists between the clergymen of both persuasions who reside in the island, and, as it generally happens, there are faults on both sides. The rev. Mr. Conolly, the parish priest there, represents that his religion and its teachers are held up to the public, and exhibited in the most revolting terms; that tracts are printed and published in the colony; letters inserted in newspapers, and doctrines preached at their chapel, in which the Roman Catholic religion and its teachers are maligned and abused; it is said, that they teach a system of religion which they know to be false; that they keep their poor deluded flocks in a state of ignorance, and withhold the lights of the gospel from them for the purposes of lucre; that they make merchandise of their souls, and they are represented (to make use of the words of my informant) 'as being little better than devils.' This naturally excites in the Roman Catholic clergy a feeling of irritation; and they not only encourage, 780 but absolutely command, their flocks to insult, to hoot after, and to give every species of annoyance to every person belonging to, or connected with, the colony; and but that the fear of the law restrains them, they would use them much worse. About three or four months ago I spoke to the rev. Mr. Harley, who is curate to Mr. Conolly, and I endeavoured to represent to him the indecency and impropriety of encouraging the peasantry to treat those persons in this manner; he did not in the least deny that the flock was encouraged, and even commanded, to pursue this line of conduct; but he justified it, as he said it was only a retaliation for the manner in which their religion was maligned and insulted, and which he described to me in the manner I have stated above. It is said, that the Roman Catholic clergy go so far as to direct their parishioners not to furnish them with necessaries which they may have occasion for, such as provisions, manure for their ground, &c. As to the complaints made by the rev. Mr. Nangle and the rev. Mr. Baylie in the annexed documents, it is likely there is some foundation for them, although I have little doubt they are exaggerated, as, from what has taken place on a former occasion, I know these gentlemen are in the habit of magnifying every little incident which occurs; but whilst they continue to treat the Roman Catholic religion and its teachers with the contumely which they invariably do upon every occasion, they must expect to receive those species of annoyances. Anything which the law takes cognizance of, the magistrates who preside at Newport petty sessions, which are held every week, viz., Sir Richard O'Donel, Mr. Connell O'Donel, and Mr. Stewart, will afford them ample redress; these magistrates, although few in number are most efficient, and act with the greatest strictness and impartiality in the discharge of their duty. The police who are stationed in the island have received general directions to afford them, not only protection, but every facility in a legal way for obtaining redress for any grievance they may have to complain of; they accompany them whenever they require their assistance for protection, and on several occasions they have been called on for that purpose; they have facilitated their having summonses served for them, by giving protection to the summons server, which they thought was necessary, in order to bring their complaints before the magistrates; and they have endeavoured (but I am sorry to say ineffectually) to try to restrain the people from shouting and hooting after them. As to the case of Cassidy, the national schoolmaster which is represented in a document drawn up by the rev. Mr. Baylie, and signed 'Matthias Baines,' if Mr. Baylie had brought it before the magistrates, he would be sure of obtaining redress. It is perfectly true, that a man of the name of Holean, also a teacher in one of the national schools there, was lately convicted before the magistrates, and sentenced to two months' im- 781 prisonment or a fine of two pounds, for a very unprovoked assault committed by him and another man on two persons connected with the Achill colony. Both these men who committed the assault were punished by the magistrates—a proof they are ready to do their duty when called on. Holean suffered his confinement, and has since, as I am informed, returned to his situation as schoolmaster. I see no remedy for these disgraceful and annoying proceedings, but having the law carried into effect with strictness and impartiality, and which I think I can venture to say, the magistrates are anxious to effect.The hon. Member also alluded to the case of interference on the part of Mr. Duff with the preaching of an individual of the name of Delany. It happened that Captain Duff was one of the most active and intelligent officers under the Government; but it was far from being his wish to state, that his arrest of Mr. Delany and his conduct to that individual were not unauthorised and unjust; but he had been censured for his conduct in this respect. The decision that he had come to on this question had been reversed, and he had been removed from the station where he was placed. There was no doubt but that Mr. Duff thought, that he was doing his duty, and pursuing that course which was calculated to preserve peace, and he was not singular in this respect, but still his conduct on this occasion was not held by the Government to have been justifiable. He would, however, read a letter on this subject which had been communicated to the Government by Mr. M. Saunderson, of Castlejames town, the gentleman to whom it was written. The letter came from the Rev. Mr. Fleming, a Protestant magistrate of the county, and was as follows:—Belturbet, July 6, 1836.Sir,—Feeling aware of the anxiety you have always evinced to preserve the peace of this county, and having, as a magistrate, often experienced the value and importance of your good advice on many occasions, I beg now to state a circumstance which has recently occurred here, in which the peace of this part of the country is vitally connected, and which I beg to solicit from you, as deputy-lieutenant, your assistance and counsel how I shall proceed should a similar occurrence take place, which I have reason to suppose may be the case. On Wednesday the 22nd June, a person styling himself the rev. Mr. Delany, a reformed priest, preached in the Methodist meeting-house against the errors of Popery, inviting all Roman Catholics to come and hear him. A large congregation of persons 782 assembled, and, although his language on that occasion called forth much disapprobation and discontent, he got a patient hearing. On Friday the 24th June, he called upon me to state his intention to preach in the evening at the market-place of this town; that he apprehended a riot would be the result, and requested I would take proper steps to protect him. After taking his sworn depositions to that effect, I remonstrated with him upon the awful responsibility he incurred in assembling such a multitude of persons opposed to each other in religious opinions, and the impossibility of the police force I then had at my command being sufficient to prevent a riot, should such occur. I persuaded him to preach in the Methodist house, to admit his congregation by tickets, and I was confident there would not be any disturbance. In this he took my advice. For some time previous immense crowds of people, of all creeds, were assembling to this place of worship, and at the appointed hour (seven o'clock) the reverend gentleman took his position in the window of this house, for the purpose of allowing the persons outside to hear him. On his commencing to preach great shouting and hallooing began on the part of the Roman Catholics to prevent his being heard, and a general excitement took place. Mr. Nixon, a magistrate who was there, used his exertions to preserve the peace; and having but four police, and not finding his influence of any avail in obtaining order, called on a party of the Scots Grey, who came to his assistance. Before the dragoons had reached the scene of action, I had arrived, the respectable portion of the meeting having sent to me for my protection. I found an immense concourse of persons, Protestants and Catholics, in a great state of excitement, and on the eve of a general riot. The moment I made my appearance I was saluted by great cheering from the crowd; and after remonstrating with them and requesting them to withdraw from the meeting-house, they took my advice, assuring me there would not be any rioting. I regret to say, the rev. Mr. Delany's conduct upon the occasion was not that of a Christian minister of the gospel who wished to preach peace and conciliate all parties. Not deeming me sufficiently active in using coercive means with the dragoons to obtain for him a hearing, he addressed the multitude in something very near the following words, pointing to me, saying, 'I was a Popish Protestant, and I would take as much delight in the spilling of his blood as the veriest Papist in that assembly.' Was this the description of language which should be used by the preacher of peace and goodwill to men? This address had caused such indignation and excitement amongst the crowd, who were well aware I was using my best exertions to obtain peace without bloodshed, that Mr. Nixon brought the military into the preaching-house yard, and turned the people out. The reverend gentle- 783 man shortly after ceased preaching, and I escorted him in safety to the head inn, and dispersed this immense mob without a single breach of the peace. This statement I can substantiate by the testimony of most respectable witnesses if required; and I feel confident, if some strong measures are not adopted to prevent a similar occurrence taking place, bloodshed will be the result.I am, sir, your obedient servant,JOHN FLEMING.To Alexander Saunderson, Esq., &c. &c. Deputy Lieut., Castlejamestown.In pursuing, however, the conduct which he did, and in arresting Mr. Delany, the Government expressed their disapprobation of the proceeding, and removed Mr. Duff from his situation in that county. As to what had fallen from the hon. Member respecting Mr. Duff, he would only observe, that that gentleman had been made a sub-inspector long before the period alluded to by him. To show, however, that the doctrines of peace preached by Mr. Delany were not exactly in conformity with his practice, he might mention that Mr. Delany had, since the period of Mr. Duff's removal, been tried at the quarter sessions for an assault, and had been found guilty, and had been sentenced to three months' imprisonment. The hon. Member quoted some instances of violent language that had been used by Roman Catholic clergymen. No man could reprobate more strongly than he did the use of such language, not only as derogatory to religion, but as disgraceful to the sacred functions of a clergyman. But was this an offence to be met with only on one side—was the use of this species of provocation limited to the Catholic clergy? He would read another official report which he had received, which would show the nature of the language used by Mr. Delany and others towards the clergymen professing the creed of the great body of the people of Ireland. It was as follows:—I have the honour to report my arrival at Killisandra yesterday morning, accompanied by Captain Macleod, C.M., requisition as per copy annexed had been previously sent to Cavan and Belturbet, by the rev. Mr. Saunderson and Mr. Galbraith, for the attendance of the troops. It being the market-day, and for some days previously announced that Mr. Delany would perform the ceremony of the mass in English, disturbance was naturally expected. He commenced at about two and ended at half-past five o'clock. Vast crowds were assembled; and on his return from the meeting-house nothing but the troops, cavalry, and infantry being drawn right across the 784 streets, could have restrained the people, who followed as far as they could, yelling and cheering. We had police patrols kept up through the town, which, with the influence of the Catholic leaders, had the desired effect, though the people were exasperated beyond description. Mr. Galbraith, J. P., applied for some police to be stationed at the door of the house, but which we declined allowing. It may not be unnecessary to remark, that yesterday neither Mr. Martin nor Mr. Saunderson appeared at the meeting-house, whether from disgust at Mr. Delany's expressions, or an order of the primate, I am unable to say; and in order to convey to his excellency's mind, that the Roman Catholics have some cause for being exasperated, I shall take the liberty of quoting Mr. Delany's expressions, which I myself heard on Thursday, as also chief constable Keek.And here he would remark, and he did so with great regret and reluctance; but as a free picture had been drawn by the honourable Member of the violent language used by Roman Catholic clergymen, he thought that he was bound in justice to show the nature of some of the provocations which they received from the other side. These were the expressions used by Mr. Delany on the occasion in question:—Now, as to the sacrament, mind, my hearers, the Scripture tells you not one bone of our Saviour is to be broken. Though the priest give you fifty pieces of bread, and tell you thereby making fifty little Jesuses; and that they first put it into the chalice, and mix it with the wine, take a drink, and then have a belly full of little Christs.On this expression loud and general laughter took place, Mr. Delany being the first to lead in it by sneeringly remarking, "He had not vet lost the knack of doing the business." When such language was used by those who called themselves Protestant clergymen, and by divines of a Church which professed to regard the elements of the Lord's supper as consecrated, he could only designate it as being in his own view the most disgusting and offensive ribaldry, but in the view of sincere Roman Catholics it must have assumed a character that made him cease almost to wonder, that they should have forgotten even the sanctity of the roof under which they were assembled, and only have remembered that God is greater than his temple. There was another case to which he should refer, which the hon. Gentleman did not allude to amongst the attacks which he said had been made on Protestant clergymen in Ireland, not because the hon. Gentleman 785 was unwilling that his canvass should be filled up, for he talked of his limited knowledge of Ireland, and added that he should leave it to others to fill up the picture that he had attempted to draw. The following letter was addressed by an hon. Member to a clergyman of the Established Church in Ireland:—Reverend Sir,—Will you kindly indulge me with the particulars of the attack made upon your Church, and threatened upon your house and family, on February 3, 1837. What I particularly wish to know is—1st. If you had given any provocation to the Romish party, by preaching against their doctrines? 2nd. If your suspicion lights upon any parties, and whether that party is out of your parish; if the general terms on which you are with your Roman Catholic parishioners are amicable? 3rd. If you can trace any instigation of the priest to the assault? 4th. What steps the Government have taken to detect and punish the offenders? 5th. If you know of any other assault on the persons or property (not tithe property) of the clergy since the summer of 1835? I trust that you will excuse my applying to you on public grounds, and will kindly favour me with an early answer. Address to me, London.—I have the honour to be, reverend Sir, your obedient servant,J. C. COLQUHOUN.He would now read the reply sent to this communication, in which he hoped the House would perceive that the 4th question, relating to the steps which the Government of Ireland had taken in respect to this outrage, was satisfactorily answered:—Sir,—I have to apologise to you for my apparent neglect in delaying to reply to your favour of the 9th instant, but it was caused in some measure by your letter having been sent to a wrong post town, whence it was forwarded by a circuitous route from Dublin, just as I was leaving home on business of importance. In compliance with your request to be informed of the particulars of an attack made upon my church and threatened on myself, I have to mention, that on the morning of January 16, 1837, it was discovered that all the windows of the church of Clonmethan were demolished by a mob during the preceding night. Of course I lost not a moment afterwards in acquainting the Government here with the unhappy occurrence, and the result was, that my communication received most prompt attention. An investigation into the circumstances of the outrage was immediately set on foot, and was renewed from time to time; a reward for the discovery of the offenders was proclaimed and published in The Gazette; rewards for private information were also held out, though, I lament to add, without success. No doubt whatever exists that in this case the assault on the church was occasioned by the 786 painful necessity I was then, as I am at present, under, of seeking to recover, by legal proceedings, a large amount of clerical income due by my Roman Catholic parishioners. One individual, indeed, in the course of the investigation, openly declared, that 'if Mr. Short had remained quiet about his tithes, neither himself nor his church would have been annoyed.' So strong, in truth, is the combination existing in this country against the payment of tithe, and so close the confederacy formed by the rural population, in many districts, to shelter those who are guilty of aggression against the Established Church, I am persuaded that, in nine cases out of ten, no amount of reward that could be named would be found sufficient to ensure the conviction of the offending parties. The influence of terror, so well understood in Ireland, most commonly operates to deter persons from giving information, and I am even disposed to think, that sometimes funds are not wanted to stimulate the ill-disposed to acts of violence, and afterwards protect them from the consequence. However this may be, very active exertions were used by Government, and by the local magistracy under their authority, to detect the offenders on the late occasion, and from that time to the present the Lord-Lieutenant has, with much consideration, ordered a protection post of police to be stationed on my premises. But, sir, much as I have reason to value the assistance thus afforded as a means of guarding my church from further outrage, and, perhaps, of increasing my personal security, the experience of every day, coupled with considerations of a different nature, force me to acknowledge that I would feel much greater confidence in a timely legislative enactment that should at once rescue the ministers of the Irish Church from those heart-sickening conflicts in the assertion of our temporal rights, which unquestionably weaken, and will soon destroy, every vestige of moral influence we may as yet retain among the people. I know, indeed, that I speak not only my own but the sentiments of many wiser and better men than myself (some having greater, some less, interest in the matter of tithes), when I declare it to be my deliberate opinion, that were it even as certain as I hold it to be the contrary that our clergy can succeed for a few years longer in recovering a portion of their income through the agency of law proceedings, still it must be effected by a sacrifice dearly purchased—no less than the peace and prosperity of the Church itself. By the prosperity of the Church I mean, of course, that spiritual influence which she would fain seek to maintain in the hearts and affections of all mankind—an influence that is not confined to the members of her own pale, but would endeavour to win its way even amongst those who most 'oppose themselves.' I trust I may be pardoned for this digression, but having the honour of writing to a distinguished Member of the Legislature, I could not resist the impulse I feel just to glance at a subject that 787 strikes me to be of the deepest importance in the present juncture. I must not omit to mention, in reply to your query, 'whether I know of any other sssault on the persons or property (not tithe property) of the clergy since the summer of 1835?' that I know not of any.Now, really, when he saw the laborious arts to which Gentlemen on the opposite side of the House resorted—the persevering spirit of inquisition—the anxious hunting out of grievances—the ingenious suggestions of complaints—wishing to know, for instance, on what general terms the person addressed was with regard to the Catholics of his parish, and whether he could attribute anything of what had occurred to the priest—when he considered all the means of inviting accusation which had been put in operation for the occasion, he must say he was less tempted to wonder than he otherwise should have been, that the hon. Gentleman had been able this evening to produce even such a budget of complaints as he had unfolded; and, in acceding to the hon. Member's motion, though on other occasions he may have directed some of his inquiries and hints in more credulous quarters than in the case last quoted to the House, he had no doubt, that when those returns were presented they would prove that the Government of Ireland had been uniformly and as successfully exerting itself for the repression of outrages, and the preservation of the public peace and of individual safety.
§ Mr. Langdale
said, that when the hon. Member opposite accused the Catholic priests of taking part in political matters, he should reflect whether the clergymen of the Protestant persuasion were not equally amenable to that charge. The clergy were openly and avowedly partisans, particularly at elections; and he could not see why the Roman Catholic priests should be less at liberty in that respect than those of any other denomination. He could assert, of his own knowledge, that several Catholic tenants in his own borough had been turned out of their houses by Protestant clergymen for the votes they had given at the election. With respect to the charge brought against the Roman Catholics of taking away the Protestant Bible from the Protestants, he could only say, that in this country, and that very recently, something of an equally unjustifiable description had occurred. He would remind the hon. Member, that the chaplain of the Middlesex house of correction had lately stated to the magistrates, that 788 he considered it to be his duty to take away the Roman Catholic Prayer-books from the prisoners of that persuasion, and substitute Protestant Bibles and Prayer-books in their room. It was not fair then, to represent such interferences as, peculiar to the Roman Catholic clergy of Ireland.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer
said, that the hon. Gentleman opposite could not be snore earnestly anxious for the diffusion of the principles of the Protestant Reformation in Ireland than he was. But there were individuals who threw obstacles in the way of those religious opinions to which they professed adhesion, and poisoned the sources of what was common to all religious persuasions—religious charity. This was the class of the community whom the hon. Gentleman strongly and naturally represented on the present occasion—those who exaggerated religious prejudices, and wished to add to political division the bigotry of religious dissension. Admiring, as he did, the country to which the hon. Member belonged, admiring it for its eminence in the arts of industry and peace, he must say, that they owed the greater part of the religious heartburnings and animosities which now distracted Ireland to the mischief-making Scotchmen who had come amongst them. Scotchmen, who, judging from their own narrow minds and illiberal feelings, had sought to impart to that country not what was generous and enlightened in their own, but that which was peculiar, and had done more mischief to the cause of religious truth in Ireland than all the exertions of the hon. Gentleman himself ever could remedy. There seemed a fair prospect of pacifying religious differences; the establishment of the Kildare-place Society was a great step to that end, but a mission of Scotchmen had visited Ireland, of whom Mr. Pringle and Captain Gordon were chosen as the apostles, who, in the height of their presumption, in the intensity of their self-confidence, conceived themselves qualified by calling meetings in market-places to settle the most profound and mysterious questions of theology, points on which the wisest men of Christendom had been at issue for ages. He did not hesitate to ascribe the ill-feeling which now existed to the prejudicial efforts of these religious mountebanks. God knew at that time they had enough of political contention; but the spirit of disagreement had not yet worked its way into the frightful arena of polemical discussion. Before 789 the Scotch mission religious parties in Ireland were advancing calmly and quietly in perfect peace, and there would now have been little animosity but for the machinations of these men—men steeped in fanaticism, who cast aside all that was valuable in religion, and retained only the fiery intolerance of zealots. If these men had not come among the Irish, they would have stood in a very different position with respect to religious truth from that which they now occupied. Hon. Gentlemen opposite had cheered the letter of the hon. Member to the clergyman referred to by his noble Friend, as if the questions put in it had been plain and ingenuous questions. But he should like to know if these questions were sent over to a clergyman of the Church of England by some Scotch seeker of grievances—he would not suppose to a clergyman of the Church of England, but he would suppose that a Cameronian minister was asked to state the grievances which he might have suffered at the hands of any Erastian supporter of prelacy. Was it not easy in this way to get up any number of charges, and would not effects, the most injurious to the religious peace of the country, be produced by such a system? A more complete attempt to establish an inquisition as to a certain point was never made by an individual who possessed no greater authority or influence than the hon. Member for Kilmarnock. In Venice a power was given of casting criminal charges against individuals into the mouth of the lion; but that marble lion was unconscious of the means taken to bring forward those accusations. Now, the hon. Gentleman was certainly no lion; but he was at least as capable of receiving information as any open-mouthed image of a lion that ever was made the receptacle of secret charges. Like the marble lion at Venice, he was all mouth, all eyes, all ears, to admit information, but no more capable of making a true use of the information he received. Nor did the hon. Member receive any information but such as it was possible to turn to his purpose. In short, he believed the marble lion might have made an equally just and proper use of his information as the hon. Gentleman who had so satisfactorily applied his information in the overflowing of his Christian charity, and in the abundance of his good-will, to the purpose of restoring peace and tranquillity in Ireland. The charges made by the hon. Gentleman against his noble Friend (Lord Morpeth) and the Executive 790 of Ireland reminded him in their character of Falstaff—there was the small morsel of bread or truth to the enormous quantity of sack or falsehood. The hon. Gentleman had throughout judged merely as a partisan, seen through a distorted medium, and applied the prism which he held to his eyes in order to distort at once and to discolour every object he looked upon. He would say, without meaning any disrespect, that the hon. Gentleman treated these subjects in such a partisan spirit, that he could attach no sort of importance to the declarations he made. The hon. Gentleman's account of his conversation with Mr. Price, as compared with Mr. Price's own evidence, upon oath, before the House of Lords, would furnish an excellent example of how far the hon. Gentleman's declarations were to be defended. The difficulty of getting at truth in Ireland—such was the prevalence and violence of party spirit—was notorious; the difficulty was enormous even to those who, like himself, lived in and were acquainted with Ireland; but how much more difficult must the task become to a casual visitor! Yet that casual visitor, if he were not consummately confident in the force of his own talents, ought, at least, to feel some misgivings as to his power of overcoming that difficulty, which those who lived in, and were acquainted with, the country felt so strongly—ought, at least, to use that information which he had such an opportunity of acquiring for the purpose of disseminating that good feeling among the people of Ireland which all her well-wishers desired to see established, instead of using that information as a farthing-candle, as a beggarly rush-light, to blow up the magazine of combustibles which unfortunately existed in that country. These discussions were painful to the House; and much more painful to Irish Members. But, however painful, were they able, except in the spirit of most furious partisanship, to say that either party, in this contest in Ireland, was perfectly right? No one on his side of the House would attempt to justify those outrages, on which so much had been said. But the question was, how it was possible to improve the existing state of things in Ireland? It was not for those who brought forward discussions of this kind—it was not for the hon. Gentleman, to step in to add to the exasperation of party feeling, which was so prevalent, without incurring a fearful responsibility. The advance of religion in that country was not to be 791 effected by the instrumentality of political discussion, and they who had the good of that country at heart would proceed independently, he hoped, of the exertions of the hon. Gentleman in their successful endeavours to accomplish that most desirable object.
§ Mr. Goulburn
felt it necessary to trouble the House with a very few words in reply to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman—the most singular speech, he must say, especially considering the speech of the noble Lord which preceded it, that ever it had been his fortune to hear since he had had the honour of a seat in that House. In the opening of his speech the right hon. Gentleman had inculcated the superior importance and obligation of charity, while he had dealt largely in every imputation that could be cast on his hon. Friend, whether as regarded his religious opinions or his political acts, and that in expressions not quite consistent, he thought, with that charity which the right hon. Gentleman professed, and which enforced the doctrine of doing no evil to one's neighbour. But, not content with casting those aspersions on the hon. Member for Kilmarnock, the right hon. Gentleman had extended them to the country of which the hon. Member was a native. [No, no.] He would appeal to the House whether the right hon. Gentleman did not represent the hon. Member as being peculiarly objectionable, because he was a Scotchman, in dealing with a different nation and a church to which he did not belong. He must express the greatest astonishment at the line taken by the right hon. Gentleman in his speech; he could not perceive the propriety of indulging, as the right hon. Gentleman had indulged, in diatribes of this kind against a whole people, or speaking of certain of them as itinerant mountebanks. The right hon. Gentleman had even gone the length of expressing a doubt of the accuracy of the facts stated by the hon. Member for Kilmarnock; but in doing so the right hon. Gentleman had certainly forgotten the speech of the noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland. Did the noble secretary deny the existence of those outrages which they must all lament? Quite the contrary. The noble Lord's answer was "I don't dispute the facts of these outrages on clergymen, but I make my defence"—a defence the most extraordinary he must confess that ever he had heard to proceed from a Member of 792 any Administration—"by showing that outrages as violent in their nature have been perpetrated on other clergymen by the opposite party; both parties are violent; each oppresses the other." But the right hon. Gentleman had indulged himself in another observation, and that of the most extraordinary nature that ever he had heard of; for he had said, that these casual visitors of Ireland were in the habit of forming very loose estimates of the real state of things in Ireland; they could form no idea of what policy it might be right to employ towards that country, from any thing they could see in a six weeks' view. They ran away with the most absurd notions on the subject, said the right hon. Gentleman, and he warned the House against adopting their representations. Now this, perhaps, might have been a valid objection on the part of any other set of men than those who occupied the Ministerial benches, who founded, he believed, their claim to the gratitude of the country and to political credit—for on what was the great measure founded which had lately been carried through the House—on what was the Poor Relief Bill for Ireland based? Why, on the information which hon. gentlemen opposite had gathered from one who was but six weeks in the country. Had they relied in constructing that measure on the experience and information of persons well acquainted with Ireland, who had been engaged for years in collecting information on the subject? No; they relied on the representations of a casual visitor, who was described as having travelled through the country with more than the usual rate of velocity. But he supposed it would be said that Mr. Nicholls was not a Scotchman and not liable to that obliquity of vision which belongs to casual visitors. With respect to the letter which the hon. Member for Kilmarnock had felt it his duty to address to a clergyman in Ireland, they were told by the right hon. Gentleman that is was on his part an extremely improper way of arriving at a knowledge of the real state of facts to invite a clergyman who had been grossly insulted to give some details respecting the grievous injuries which he had sustained. The facts were not, however, if he remembered rightly, denied by the noble Secretary for Ireland. His hon. Friend, the Member for Kilmarnock, had asked for information respecting certain facts, which had been 793 communicated to him, and because he did so, it was to be supposed, according to the right hon. Gentleman, that he was writing to an individual to induce him to trump up a story. He had heard that letter read, and he must say that he saw nothing objectionable in it. He had risen to vindicate his hon. Friend from the aspersions which had been cast upon him by an hon. Member, who from having made charity his particular boast, had laid himself particularly open to retort for his uncharitable insinuations. He lamented as much as any man the religious animosities which unfortunately prevailed in Ireland. The hon. Member might believe him or not, as he pleased, but he did lament exceedingly the violence which prevailed in Ireland in all discussions on religious subjects. He would not attribute the existence of those religious animosities, as his right hon. Friend opposite did, to individual gentlemen going from Scotland into Ireland on a missionary tour; nor yet would he attribute it to the exertions of the Kildare-street society. He believed, however, that owing to the means which that society took to disseminate religious instruction, a degree of interest had been excited in Ireland on religious subjects, which had made Protestants, Presbyterians, and Catholics, peculiarly anxious when they were discussed. That feeling no one could blame; and if it had led for the present to a degree of religious excitement which had not previously prevailed, he was convinced that by promoting general discussion upon religious topics it would ultimately work more good than evil; and that after the storm, which it had for a time created, had passed by, the country would benefit by having had its attention thus pointedly called to subjects of the most deep and solemn importance.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer
, in explanation, disclaimed having made any attack either upon Scotland or upon the Scottish character. His allusion had been, not to Scotchmen generally, but to two Scotch gentlemen in particular, Mr. Pringle and Captain Gordon; and he would undertake to prove, that the apostolical mission of the latter gentleman had created, if not all, nearly all, the religious animosity now existing in Ireland. There was another point, also, on which he wished to set himself right with his right hon. Friend. His right hon. Friend had represented him to have denied the existence 794 of the outrages to which the hon. Member for Kilmarnock had referred. Now, he had done no such thing. On the contrary, he had expressed a hope that there would not be found any man on either side of the House capable of denying or palliating these outrages.
§ Mr. Wyse
rose for the purpose of justifying the mayor of Waterford for not interfering on the occasion, to which the hon. Member for Kilmarnock referred. His interference upon that occasion would, in all probability, have led to a far more serious disturbance of the peace than that which took place, in consequence of the invectives which the preacher in the cathedral cast upon the Roman Catholics whom he had specially invited to hear his discourse. The exaggerated character which had been given to that disturbance by the hon. Member, led him to infer, that there would be similar exaggeration in some of the other outrages which he had described. He reminded the hon. Member that if he really was anxious to spread among the people of Ireland religious truth, the first step which he ought to take was, to treat them with religious charity. If the hon. Member had had any regard to his character, as an impartial man, he would have included in his motion a return of the number of outrages which had been committed upon the national schools in the northern parts of Ireland, and of the number of insults heaped upon the masters of them in the presence of their pupils. Until the hon. Gentleman's motion included a return of that kind, he should consider him as a mere partizan, and not as a friend to the people of Ireland.
replied: He would not allude to the personal charges which had been brought against him. With regard to those brilliant metaphors which had been cast upon him by the right hon. Gentleman opposite, the marble lion, and the inquisition, and such figures of speech, he could afford to pass them by, as not requiring any notice from him; and as to the statements which had been made by the noble Lord and the right hon. Gentleman, drawn from some Tipperary newspaper, of the name of which he was ignorant, containing facts which he had never stated, and referring to attacks upon clergymen whose very names he had never heard, to which he had made no reference, and which were no more 795 connected with the present debate, nor with his statements, than with any other debate—on these he should not condescend to waste one word of comment. But there was one fact to which he had adverted, on which, indeed, he had dwelt with some detail—the case of Achill, on which the noble Lord opposite had produced the report of his own constabulary, and that report was so satisfactory, corroborated the statements he had made, and illustrated so clearly the policy of Government, that the House would permit him to make a single remark upon it. It appeared, that the constable that lately reported the state of Achill to the Irish Government had said, that the Protestant missionaries had employed violent language in speaking of the Roman Catholic doctrines. He by no means justified such language, if it had been employed; but what he had contended was, that whatever was the language which a controversialist was pleased to employ, whether violent or otherwise, however much to be deprecated in point of taste, was not to be visited upon the party by personal assault, nor was his life to be endangered, because he had applied strong language to any set of doctrines; and yet the same report which the noble Lord had read, and which condemned the language of one party, denounced not the language, but the acts of the other. It declared, just as he had stated, that the priest of Achill had instigated the people to personal outrage and murderous assaults upon these missionaries, and that, notwithstanding all the exertions of the police, it was found almost impossible to restrain a part of the people from obeying these atrocious mandates of priestly incendiaries. Here was, from the lips of the noble Lord, from the police report which he himself had produced, the full confirmation of the statement in regard to this case he (Mr. Colquhoun) had made; and he ventured to predict, that the returns for which he had moved, if made out fully, would supply to all his other statements an equally distinct corroboration.
§ Motion agreed to.