Page images
[ocr errors]

mation.” General Catholic Controversy. – Advocates of Emancipation of the Press. — Election of O'Connell to Parliament. — Relief Bill of 1829. — Relations of the Church and “the Establishment,” A. D. 1830. Conclusion.



I. The Civil and Military Articles of Limerick,

343 II. The Irish Lords' Protest against the Act “ to confirm the Articles of Limerick," A. D. 1702,

353 III. Petition and List of Delegates of the Catholics of Ireland, : 354 IV. The Pope's Letter on the Subject of the Veto,

363 V. Carey's Analysis of the Alleged Massacre of 1641,


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


Every sect of reformers known in the British empire has attempted to propagate itself in Ireland, and has failed. The Anglican church is as far from the hearts of that people as ever; the Presbyterian denomination has hardly retained the natural increase of its Scottish founders. In Ulster it still flourishes; but we must remember that it was transplanted in its maturity to that confiscated soil. It did not grow there; it has not spread beyond that privileged and exclusive province.

The Independents, planted by Cromwell; the Quakers, introduced by Penn; the Lutherans, endowed by William; the Huguenots, patronized by Anne and the Georges; the Methodists, organized by the Wesleys and Whitfield — all have been tried in Irish soil, and all have failed.

In Ireland, the crown has been for Protestantism; the legislature, the only university, the army and navy, all civil offices until, as it were, yesterday, have been reserved for the support of the Protestant interest." Not only all the privileges and all the forces have been on that side, but even sacred rights, such as freedom of worship, of education, and of proprietorship,- until the close of the last century, have been all denied by law to the Catholics. Protestantism had every thing its own way - the crown, the laws, the taxes, forces, schools, estates, and churches. By every human calculation, the victory would be declared to the strong. Yet it is quite otherwise in this instance.

How a poor and insulated peasantry could have kept their ancient faith, against such odds, for three hundred years, is matter of wonder to those who are not Catholics. To those who are, it is a source of inquiry and reflection full of edification and encouragement. A book in which the facts of this contest would be set down briefly and intelligibly has long been wanted. Thirty years ago, Charles Butler considered it “the great literary desideratumin our language; and a desideratum it has ' remained.

If it is important to have such a book published, it is very difficult to compile it, even in summary style. In Ireland, this must have been felt, where so many able Catholic writers have declined it, either from the greatness of the labor or the incompleteness of the authorities. In America, far removed from all who have made any portion of the subject their special study, with such authorities as are to be had or imported here, I have found the work very arduous indeed. For some facts I have had chiefly to rely on a large collection of manuscript notes, made partly in Dublin libraries and partly in that of the British Museum in the years 1846 and 1847.

The memoirs on which I have chiefly relied are of three classes :

I. Contemporary Catholic narratives of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuriessuch as “ The Four Masters,” Bishop O'Daly's Histories, O'Sullivan's, Bishop French's Tracts, the Jacobite Pamphlets and Memoirs, Hibernia Dominicana, and Father O'Leary's Letters.

II. Publications on the Penal Code and Catholic Relief Bills during the period of agitation; Curry's Civil Wars; Burke's Letters and Speeches ; O'Conor's Pamphlets; Brookes's Letters ; Scully's Digest of the Penal Laws; William Parnell's Apology for the Irish Catholics; Sir Henry Parnell's History of the Penal Laws; Petitions and Reports of the successive Catholic Committees; the Debates in the Irish and English Parliaments; and the Diplomatic Correspondence of both governments as far as it relates to Ireland.

III. County and City Histories - such as those of Dublin, Armagh, Belfast, Cork, Limerick, and Galway; Biographies of the chief actors for and against the church - Henry VIII., Usher, Strafford, Ormond, Cromwell, Clarendon, Walpole, Chesterfield, George III., Pitt, and Castlereagh, of the 'Protestant side; Hugh O'Neil, Bishop French, Primate Plunkett, James II., Patrick Sarsfield, Charles O'Conor, Edmund Burke, Henry Grattan, Wolfe Tone, John Keogh, Bishop Doyle, and Daniel O'Connell, of the Catholic side.

From these authorities I have endeavored to extract all the essential facts in relation to the Reformation" in Ireland.

I am deeply sensible, after all the care and time I could bestow on it, how far the work is from what it might be made in abler hands. Yet even as a substitute for a better, it is well it should go forth. One half the Irish race are in America, and need to have this History by them. If not in this way, in what other shall

« PreviousContinue »