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the castle, the ablest reasoning and the highest eloquence might be spent in vain. The prose and verse of Swift, Sheridan, (the first,) Dobbs, Delaney, Madden, and Malone were, in most cases, thrown away. In 1723, on the question of debasing the Irish currency, for which William Wood had a patent from England, there were some symptoms of public spirit shown in the Commons. But it was with the people the appeals of Swift took most. “ I find” (Primate Boulter writes to the English prime minister, the Duke of Newcastle) “ the people of every religion, country, and party here are alike set against Wood's halfpence, and that their agreement in this has had a most unhappy influence on the state of this nation, by bringing on intimacies between Papists and the whigs, who before had no correspondence with them.”* From this dispute about the currency we may date the return of public spirit, beaten down and exiled in the late war. The patriots, henceforward, entitled themselves, by degrees, to be called the national party.

The series of steps by which the Dublin Parliament advanced towards legislative independence were, at first, altogether financial. In 1723, the Commons addressed the king to consent to a reduction of the supplies, but no notice was taken of their modest request; by 1729, Ireland“ owed the government” two hundred and seventyfour thousand pounds — a vast sum for that period: in 1731, another petition for reduction went out, with the like result. Every session in future was occupied with

a money bill” debate, the supplies being voted annually. Even after the revenues began to yield a surplus, the discussion was kept up, for the principle had taken

In 1753, a severe struggle for the surplus fund took place, and the politics of Swift triumphed.

Several of the leaders in debates at this time were children of the old Catholics. In 1753, Anthony Malone, son of Sir Toby Butler's old colleague, a native of Westmeath, stood at the head of the Irish bar. He was “prime sergeant,” and took precedence of the attorney general among the crown officers.

* Boulter's Letters.

For voting against the castle, on the supplies of 1753, he was ousted, and in 1768, for similar independence, he was removed from his office as chancellor of the exchequer. He was considered by such judges as Grattan the equal of Lord Chatham in parliamentary eloquence.*

On the castle side was a very unscrupulous, but very able man, John Healy, who at his marriage assumed the name of Hutchinson. The son of humble Catholic parents in the south, he had resolved to fight his way to rank, and began by disencumbering himself of his proscribed religion. He rose to eminence at the bar and in Parliament; became prowost of Trinity College, Earl of Donoughmore, a privy councillor, and one of the richest of the Irish peerage. "He gained the whole world of his ambition; but what did it profit him at the hour of death?

Sir Lucius O'Brien, and Mr., afterwards Lord O'Neil, members for Antrim and Clare, distinguished themselves on the patriot side. The Dalys, Brownes, Floods, and Fitzgeralds, also of Catholic ancestors, were well-known members of Parliament. The castle was defeated on the money bills, and the surplus revenue was, in future, expended in paying off the national debt, and in forwarding internal improvements.

The Viceroys Wharton, Carteret, Grafton, and Chesterfield had seen the rise of the patriot party. Boulter had tried in vain to strangle it. His successor in place and politics, Primate Stone, who is related to him in our history, on a small scale, as Mazarin is to Richelieu in that of France, grappled it in vain. The Duke of Bedford, viceroy from 1750 to 1760, assisted Stone with all the appliances of patronage and power. But it was labor lost; a great party had been created, and it advanced from aggression to aggression.

The elder Pitt, who then ruled England, writes to the duke, in 1757, that the parties being “on a near equality in strength," "all softening and healing arts of government" - in plain terms, bribery and titles - are to be tried. A partial success attended this policy, but only partial, and for a short time.

* Mr. Cornelius O'Callaghan, Jr., a son of Butler's old protégé, was also an active member of these Parliaments.

In 1759, a report prevailed in Dublin, that " a union" was contemplated. On the 3d of December, the citizens rose en masse, and surrounded the houses of Parliament. They stopped the carriages of members, and obliged them to swear opposition to such a measure. Some of the Protestant bishops, the chancellor, and the attorney general were roughly handled, but escaped; a privy councillor was thrown into the river; Lord Inchiquin was abused till he said his name was O'Brien, when the rage of the people “was turned into acclamations." * The speaker (Ponsonby) and the secretary for Ireland (Rigby) had to appear on the porch steps, and solemnly assure the citizens that no union was dreamt of, and if it was proposed, that they would be the first to resist it. Public spirit had evidenly grown bold and confident, and we can well believe Secretary Rigby when he writes to the elder Pitt, that “the mob” declared, “ since they have no chance of numbers in the house, they must have recourse to numbers out of doors.” +

In these agitations the Irish Catholics could take no very active part. Though gradually increasing in numbers, and still nominally possessed of the elective franchise, they were even yet “as insignificant as women and children.” Like the oppressed Israelites, their sorrow and their hope was in their offspring; like them, also, though “wisely oppressed,” they continued to increase in a greater proportion than the Protestant population. In the conjectural census of 1747, which rated the whole population at four - millions and a third, the Catholics were admitted to be three millions and a half. In Ulster they had clung to the soil, while the Presbyterian emigration went on. In Derry, Armagh, and Antrim, they were now equal to those who had been set over them in the preceding century, and in some places

* Horace Walpole’s Memoirs of George II. † Correspondence in Life of Grattan, vol. i. p. 75.




they already exceeded them. This ratio the northern Catholics have ever since maintained.

In Mayo, in 1731, it was reported to Parliament that the Catholics were “twelve to one;" in Kerry, in 1733, they were

hundred to one; ” in Kilkenny and Meath the disproportion was still greater in favor of the Catholics — in some parishes one thousand to one." Through the three provinces the ratio was thought to be (including towns and cities) seven to one.' It shows the powerlessness of mere undisciplined numbers, when the one seventh part of a people could so long and so ostentatiously oppress the vast remainder. The minority, however, had a powerful ally in England.

While this was the state of parties and politics, Dr. Boulter became enamoured of the double glory of being the legislator and apostle of his generation. Under his



* The tourists to Ireland, in this and the succeeding reign, were, naturally enough, struck with this disparity of numbers. A German, (Prince Puckler Muskau,) gives the following statistics of the county Tipperary, early in the next reign. He writes,

"I found all I had heard of the actual proportion between Protestant and Catholic fully confirmed. Among other information, I obtained an official list of part of the parishes in the diocese of Cashel.

Catholics. Protestants. Thurles has


280 Cashel


700 Clonoulty


82 Cappawhite


76 Killenaule


514 Boherlaw


25 Fethard


400 Kilcommon

2,400 Moykarkey


.80 Golden


120 Donaskeagh


90 New Inn



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2,870 “ In Kilcommon, where there is not a single Protestant parishioner, the service, which, according to law, must be performed once a year, is enacted in the ruins with the help of a Catholic clerk. In another, called Tullemaine, the same farce took place. But not a whit the less must the non-attending parishioners pay the utmost farthing of their tithes and other dues ; and no claims are so bitterly enforced as those of this Christian church. There is no pity—at least none for the Catholics."

auspices schools to proselytize the Catholic youth were regularly established, and an “Incorporated Society founded by law, in 1733, for the control and support of the schools.

This plan of making Irish Protestants was not new. Both Henry and Elizabeth had legislated upon it- had enacted that the schools should be placed under the new clergy, out of whose income the expenses were to be taken. The

parsons did not relish this method of spreading the gospel, and paying for it beside. Similar acts of the seventh of William and the second and third of George I. failed to arouse them to their duties as teachers, and Dr. Boulter, in despair, turned for a remedy to Parliament. This was thought to be found in the Incorporated Society," whose expenses were to be taken from the treasury, while engaged in the good work of " teaching the children of the Popish and other natives.” The motive of the mover is well put by himself. “ One of the most likely methods we can think of is, if possible, instructing and converting the young generation ; for instead of converting those that are adult, we are daily losing many of our meaner people, who go off to Popery."

Unfortunately for the new scheme, the controversy concerning the tithe of agistment raged most fiercely at this date. The landlords, according to the primate, hated the parsons as heartily as they did “the Popish priests," while the former “accepted whatever they could get, and very few of them ever went to their livings to do their duty.” During this agitation and the progress of laying down land in pasturage, according to the same competent witness, “a great part of the churches were neglected, and going to ruin," while "it became necessary to give as many as six or seven parishes to one incumbent, in order to enable him to live.” After devoting a dozen years to the advocacy of his schools and other schemes, the energetic Boulter died, at London, in 1742. He had tried with equal ardor, and more

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* Boulter's Correspondence. Letters from 1730 to 1737.

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