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PROTESTANT REFORMATION IN IRELAND.
of all the sovereigns since the conquest. But this he had only maternally and with much mixture, while hard by, in France, lived the immediate heir of the line. As between titles, the Stuarts had the best of it; but the Guelphs, becoming Protestants, could command all the party created and enriched by the reformation,” and disciplined by “the revolution :” having that party, success was easy.
It was, at Queen Anne's death, a very doubtful matter, for a month, which scale would sink or rise. Had the legitimists acted promptly, the day was theirs. Had Ormond taken Arbuthnot's counsel, and proclaimed King James in London streets, the Stuarts might have reigned again. But Anne died suddenly, and without a will; the noble Jacobites hesitated; the people had no power; the whigs were resolute, and the crown of England passed to a third-rate German family.
James 6 the Third” was not a person to supply the want of nerve in his adherents. Something of a libertine, and a good deal of a glutton, he had little of the heroic in him. He allowed the first elector to take his throne without any great resistance. After this he married the granddaughter of Sobieski, the famous king of Poland, and rejoiced over the heirs for whom he had made no provision. In 1720, Charles Edward was born, and in 1725, Henry Benedict, afterwards“ Cardinal York." The former dashed the Sobieski with the Stuart blood, and, in one of the most romantic expeditions ever undertaken, displayed some strokes of courage and policy worthy of the best of his ancestors.
IRISH PARTIES IN THE REIGN OF GEORGE II.-" THE PATRIOTS.”.
“THE CASTLE PARTY.” — INCREASE OF THE CATHOLICS. - ESTABLISHMENT OF CHARTER SCHOOLS.-SWIFT'S PORTRAITS OF THE PROTESTANT PRELATES. - BATTLE OF CULLODEN. CHANGE OF CATHOLIC TACTICS.
The city of Dublin became the actual capital of Ireland after the treaty of Limerick. Gradually, by the strong arm of military power, or the silken cords of patronage, the country was drawn to it as to a centre. Once the fortress of invasion, it now bourgeoned into the citadel of a kingdom. Once the seat of a partial representation, (more a parley than a Parliament,) it now began to consider itself a seat of laws and of authority for the whole island, and to assume the tone and leading becoming its position.
Two constitutional parties were the first signs that real power had settled there. The government party was composed of all who either had offices or expectations from the viceroy or from England, and of that numerous body who always like to stand well with a government, of whatever sort. Dublin Castle was their club, and from the reign of William till the middle of the century, the successive Protestant primates were their most active chiefs. The Irish House of Lords, created by England, was almost entirely made up of their partisans.
The opposition party took the name of “ the patriots." Molyneux, member for Trinity College, in William's first Irish Parliament, was its precursor, and after his early death, Swift, Dean of St. Patrick's, became its director and champion through part of Anne's and the entire of George I.'s reign. The policy of this party was to maintain the local independence of the Parliament, to revive Irish commerce and manufactures, to create a public spirit in the boroughs and through the country by their writings, to prevent arable land being laid down in pasture, and the depopulation included in that design. The landlords, who had their titles by conquests still recent, felt no obligation to the tenantry — quite the reverse: as cattle became more profitable than cultivators, they adopted a system of extermination, which left whole estates without other occupants than herds and herdsmen. The selfishness of the class was equal to their inhumanity.
The “ tithe of agistment,” (or tithe of cattle,) an important source of revenue to the establishment, was every where resisted by them. They formed an association for united opposition, and in 1735, they succeeded in having it abolished. The entire tithe charge then fell upon the leaseholders or tenants at will, already burdened with rent, and
aunted by the fear of an increased rent, or sudden ejectment to make way for cattle.
The policy advocated by the “patriot party” was favorable to the interests of Catholics. If manufactures increased, wages must increase; if depopulation was stayed, the tenants would have leave and room to live. If high culture succeeded grazing, some better tenure than mere occupancy should be conceded to the farmers. If the Parliament became independent, there was reason to expect it would try to strengthen itself at home by extending the constituency. No wise act of native legislation, however interpreted, could be unfavorable to the body of the native population. Indirectly or directly, mediately or immediately, they should be the gainers. So did Providence dispose events, that the intended instruments of provincial oppression became the means of gradual amelioration.
But during the reigns of Anne and the two first Georges, the patriots, as a minority, could do but little in College Green. Until 1767, Irish Parliaments sat during the lifetime of the king, unless specially dissolved. The government party had the elections of 1730 their own way; the Parliament then elected lasted thirty years! Upon a body so irresponsible to the nation, and so likely to fall into the harness and the pension list of