Page images
PDF
EPUB

they be shown the cost at which our fathers purchased that “pearl beyond price,” the religion which, through the

grace of God, we still retain ? Here are no waysidecrosses or empty belfries, no Cromwellian breaches, no soil fruitful of traditions, to keep alive in their souls the story of their heroic and orthodox ancestors. For the monuments and memorials that abound in Erin, this little book is the only substitute I can offer them. It will be, I trust, an acceptable offering to those for whom it is chiefly intended.

This book I call “ A History of the Attempts" to establish the "Reformation” in Ireland, because it relates each attempt and failure. The variety and energy of these efforts may be well imagined from an abstract.

I. Attempts under Henry VIII. and Edward VI. to intimidate the existing hierarchy, by. punishing as treason the refusal to take the oath of supremacy; the confiscation of religious possessions, and the war upon the shrines, schools, and relics of the saints.

II. Attempts under Elizabeth, by armies and wholesale confiscations, as in the case of Desmond; by the endowment of Trinity College, and the theory of Usher, that the early Irish church was Protestant.

III. Attempt of James I., by colonizing Ulster with Presbyterians, the act of conformity, and the exclusion of Catholics from the Irish parliament.

IV. Attempt under Charles I., by ordering all priests and Jesuits to leave the kingdom; by the commission for inquiring into defective titles; by the enlargement of the school of king's wards.

V. Attempts of the Puritans, by the solemn league and covenant; by the Anglo-Scotch invasion ; by trans

portation to Barbadoes; by martial law; by the importation of Independents, Brownists, Anabaptists, &c.

VI. Attempt under Charles II., by the act of settlement, and swearing Ireland into "the Popish plot.”

VII. Attempts under William and Anne, by banishing the Catholic soldiery, and colonizing German Protestants; by violating the treaty of Limerick; by enlarging the penal laws into a complete code.

VIII. Attempts under the present dynasty, by state schools and a system of proselytism, to effect what confiscation, war, and controversy failed to effect in earlier times.

The work closes at the year of our Lord 1830. It might have been continued down to the present time, when we find new penal enactments added to the statutes of Westminster, new proselytizing societies ranging through Ireland, a successor of St. Patrick assailed with all the forces of British diplomacy, and a Catholic Defence Association sitting in Dublin. But remembering the advice of Ecclesiasticus, “ Judge no man while he is living," the narrative closes at 1830.

AMERICAN CELT OFFICE,

Buffalo, 1852

[ocr errors]

1

BOOK I.

A. D. 1540 TO 1660.

FROM THE

ELECTION OF HENRY VIII., AS KING OF IRELAND,

UNTIL THE

DEATH OF OLIVER CROMWELL.

1

« PreviousContinue »