HL Deb 19 June 1835 vol 28 cc892-4

"The Petition of the reverend Sir Harcourt Lees, of Black Rock, in the county of Dublin, Baronet, most humbly showeth,

"That Petitioner has, in successive petitions presented to Parliament, endeavoured to convince your honourable House that a dark and mysterious joint Radical and Romish conspiracy, originally planned by the Jesuits, was silently but maturely progressing in Great Britain and Ireland, in close connection with foreign revolutionists, the ultimate design of which was (as it related to these islands), through the medium of treasonable associations, to effect the overthrow of the Established Church and Monarchy of the empire, the separation of Ireland from Great Britain, the total extermination of the Protestants in this portion of the United Kingdom, and the paramount and permanent establishment and ascendancy of the superstitious, intolerant, and sanguinary tenets of the Church of Rome in Ireland.

"That, under the same unalterable conviction, founded upon, perhaps, a more perfect and profound knowledge of the entire machinery of the Papal system and Ecclesiastical constitution, with the whole of their politico- religious treasons in the British Isles for centuries past, than most individuals of the present age, your petitioner considers it to be his imperative, though most painful, duty, in order to save the nation from contemplated destruction, to re-assure your honourable House that he has in his possession information on oath, as well as other documents, to be supported by living evidence, containing matters of the most awful importance to the security of the State.

"That it appears from the testimony of these witnesses, and also from sworn information in possession of petitioner, that certain individuals of great weight and influence have been for a considerable time past intimately acquainted with the revolutionary designs contemplated by the leading conspirators in both countries, against not only the vested rights and property, but against the very existence of our venerable Church Establishment, as well as against the connection between Great Britain and Ireland.

"That petitioner will conclude by imploring your honourable House to adopt immediately the most advisable and summary mode in your power to enable you, and, through your investigation, a fatally deluded people, to arrive at a perfect knowledge of the details and ultimate object of a dark and mysterious conspiracy, originally framed by the Jesuits and Romish hierarchy, that, if not probed to the bottom and crushed, will inevitably terminate in the destruction of all lawful Government, through a sanguinary civil war. And he further earnestly, most humbly, and solemnly prays, that if the charges contained in his petition should be satisfactorily established on a Parliamentary investigation, your honourable House will afford protection to the Established Church, and permanent security to the Monarchy and liberties of the United Empire by the instantaneous adoption of a Legislative measure excluding from Parliament and the Councils of the nation a sect, the essential principles of whose politico-religious system ever has, as all history lamentably proves, pledged them, and ever must pledge them, to struggle for the erection of Papal ascendancy over the Protestant institutions and Monarchy of these realms. From a full persuasion of the truth and awful importance of all he has asserted your petitioner reiterates his prayer for the repeal of the Roman Catholic Relief Bill, passed in the year 1829.

"And petitioner, as in duty bound, will ever pray."

He had the pleasure, the noble Lord continued, of the acquaintance of the reverend Gentleman whose petition this was; and, although he might consider Sir Harcourt Lees, a little too hasty and wild in some instances, he knew that many of his predictions had come to pass. From what he (the Earl of Roden) knew of Ireland, he was prepared to believe that such a con- spiracy as the petitioner alluded to actually existed, and that if it were not speedily arrested that country must finally be overwhelmed with misery and ruin.

Petition laid on the Table.