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lished at Lisbon, advocating the abstract right of Ireland forcibly to separate from England, were to be submitted to them — the first two for approval, these last for formal condemnation. On these topics, the lieutenant anticipated either division or disagreement : “ Set them at open difference,” wrote the Earl of Cork, " that we may reap some practical advantage thereby." “My object," responded Ormond, “was to work a division among the Romish clergy."
No subjects of debate could be better chosen for the purpose than Gallican and Ultramontane principles.
This memorable synod, which tested so severely the fortitude of the outlawed bishops, met in Dublin, on the 11th of June, 1666, and sat fifteen days. The primate, O'Reilly, the Bishop of Meath, the vicars of four other bishops, (all who then remained alive,) and the superiors of the regular orders attended. The regular clergy at the time, in Ireland, amounted to eleven hundred, and the seculars to seven hundred and eighty. By these, through their representatives, the propositions of Paris were formally repudiated, and “the remonstrance” set aside as of questionable orthodoxy. They condemned the books advocating separation from England, and presented a succinct declaration of their own loyalty. Wherever the propositions or the remonstrance had trenched on the Papal supremacy, they courageously condemned both.f On the 25th, the synod was ordered to disperse, the bishops and vicars fled, and all seminaries and convents were closed by proclamation. Primate O'Reilly, after being imprisoned in England, was allowed to exile himself. In 1669, he died at Brussels, and Dr. Oliver Plunkett, a professor in the College de Propaganda Fide was sent from Rome to fill his place.
* Curry's Civil Wars, book ix. c. 14. Carte's Life of Ormond, vol. ii. Appendix, p. 10. The letter of the duke to Lord Orrery is given in Curry's Civil Wars.
+ Walsh's History of the Remonstrance. Charles Butler's Memoirs of the Catholics, vol. iii. p. 420.
The Catholic exiles abroad filled Europe with their denunciations of Ormond's persecution, which was almost as severe as Cromwell's. The pope and the King of Spain joined in reproaching Charles. His court was divided into factions, and he himself seems only to have hoped that the monarchy might outlast his day. In 1669, however, Ormond was removed from the viceroyalty, and after a few months of Lord Roberts, Lord Berkeley, a pro-Catholic, was appointed, through the influence of the Duke of York, afterwards James II. Lord Berkeley's administration was a blessed calm to the Irish Catholics. Primate Plunkett openly visited his diocese, confirming children, consecrating churches, and ordaining priests. A synod was allowed to sit in Dublin, without interference of the state. Peter Talbot, archbishop of the city, was received in his robes at the castle. Chapels were connived at in every ward; new priests arrived by every ship; Catholic aldermen were admitted to the municipal councils, and some Catholic commoners were elected to Parliament.
Emboldened by these signs, the Catholic gentry, disinherited by the act of settlement, appointed Colonel Richard Talbot, one of the Duke of York's favorites, special agent to promote their claims at London. In August, 1671, notwithstanding the rigorous opposition of Ormond, Orrery, and Finch, a royal commission was issued, during the recess of Parliament, to inquire into the allegations of the petitioners. A regular storm arose in consequence, and the Puritan majority of the new House of Commons, in 1673, compelled the king to recall Lord Berkeley, and to rescind “the declaration of indulgence to dissenters,” granted three years before. They did not stop here: they proceeded, in the infamous " test act," to declare every person incapable of civil or military employment who did not take the oath of supremacy, renounce transubstantiation, and receive the sacrament” .according to their heretical form; they demanded that all convents and seminaries should be closed, that all Catholics should be expelled from corporate towns, and that Colonel Talbot should be arrested. The king, to whom the very name of a Parliament was terrible, yielded on every point. Archbishop Talbot, with his brother, being specially named in the parliamentary address, had to fly into France for present safety.
After three years of truce or toleration, the war was thus renewed on the Irish church. In these years she had undergone such reparation as enabled her to survive the terrible storms then approaching. The primate, Oliver Plunkett, a man of rare sagacity, goodness, and energy, had increased the secular clergy from eleven hundred to above two thousand; healed the breaches between the Dominicans and Franciscans, and while maintaining the dignity of his own see, had aided in the restoration of several others. His astonishing labors were the best proof that he was the worthiest of all the Irish church to fill the see which St. Patrick had founded, and which St. Malachy had, under similar circumstances, repaired.
Lord Essex, Berkeley's successor, continued viceroy in Ireland till 1677, when he was succeeded by old Ormond. He permitted the secret exercise of Catholic worship, which Ormond, now that the war bishops were all dead, would probably have continued to allow, had not "the Popish Plot” suddenly broke out in London. News of the discovery reached him in his castle at Kilkenny in October, 1678, and though in private he ridiculed the clumsy inventions of Oates and Bedloe,* he pablicly affected great anxiety and activity in bringing the accused parties to justice.
This horrible delusion, known as “the Popish Plot," was one of those periodical paroxysms of superstition and bigotry to which the English popular mind has, since the reformation, been subject.
Its author was Titus Oates, “a drunken and disorderly minister” of the establishment; a wretch who had left his character in the stews, and his ears in the pillory; yet was he implicitily believed, not only against priests and Jesuits, but against peers of the realm, and even the king's consort and brother. His success excited rivals; Bedloe, Carstairs, and Dangerfield appeared in quick succession, and the wildest inventions of romance were probable, compared to their narratives. Yet, on such testimony, scores of innocent lives were taken, and the fatal prison cells, throughout both kingdoms, were crowded with the “ suspected."
* Carte's Life of Ormond.
This reign of terror was made the pretext for extending the test act to the peers of the realm. James, Duke of York, and seven others, in the House of Lords, protested against a measure to that effect; but the measure passed. The duke was next driven from the privy council, and an attempt made to exclude him and his issue from the throne; but after a protracted contest, and two dissolutions of Parliament, it failed, and the duke's friends increased as the credit of the plot and the health of Charles declined. James's conduct at this juncture, as well as his marriage with Mary of Modena, a Catholic, caused him to be regarded as the head and hope of the Catholics of both islands.
While the plot” raged, Ormond adopted the most severe measures against the Irish Catholics. He seized Archbishop Talbot of Dublin, " then in a dying way, ' and threw him into the castle prison, where, in 1681, he expired. He issued a proclamation, dated October 16, ordering all bishops, priests, and Jesuits to depart the kingdom by the 20th of November. Another proclamation commanded all ship masters, outward bound, to carry them away; another offered large rewards for every
officer and soldier who might be found attending mass; another banished all Catholics from the principal walled towns and cities. An earlier proclamation, in 1679, ordered the kindred and friends” of all recusants, or “persons out on their keeping,” to be seized and imprisoned till the said persons were “either killed or taken;" also, that whenever a murder was committed, and the murderer not discovered, “ the pretended Popish parish priest” (if any) should be transported beyond the seas till the murderer was “either killed or taken." 66 Vast numbers of priests were shipped off," on these and other pretences, “and the rest lurked in holes and corners. Some, for their heroic devotion to their missions, paid the final penalty of death on the scaffold.
Among the martyrs of this age, the most illustrious in rank and virtues was the primate. On the issuing of the proclamation, he left his usual residence, and went secretly to lodge in a village called Castletown Bellew. Here he held a last ordination, and here, on the 6th of December, 1679, he was arrested, on a charge of exercising ecclesiastical authority contrary to law. The next year this charge was dropped, and the more tangible one of high treason taken up. One Hetherington, an accomplished English " discoverer” of the Oates school, was sent over by Shaftesbury "to obtain information;" and by him a score of good swearers were readily enlisted. These wretches, and those they accused, were ordered to London for the trial. Lord Burke of Brittas, and some others, arrested on the same evidence, escaped by the glaring contradiction of the witnesses; but the primate was not equally fortunate, though the witnesses against him were also contradictory. In 1680, he had been lodged in Newgate, London, “where for six months no Christian came near him, nor did he know how things stood in the world.” His trial, brought on in May, and postponed till June, was had before a bench that knew neither justice nor good manners. Jeffreys, then a sergeant, was the chief prosecutor. The principal witnesses were Duffy and "Mc Moyer, two friars, whom he had been forced to degrade for their vices. The charge was, that he had conspired to bring in the French at Carlingford, and to raise another Irish rebellion. The « discoverers" of course swore roundly. The prirnate, who made his own defence, contended, I. That, by law, he should have been tried in Ireland. II. That, a copy of the indictment being refused him, he could have no defence ready. III. That at least he should be allowed time to bring his witnesses over from Ireland. After his clear and able demonstration of the ·legality of the trial, the following remarkable scene took place: