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Queen Elizabeth, however, did not live to see Ireland, erp tirely subjected; for the final treaty with O'Nial of Tyrone, did not take place until some days after her death. James E.' is therefore the first English monarch who possessed the entire dominion of Ireland.
The English government being now generally established by force of arms, there seemed a probability that the inhabitants would gradually accommodate themselves to the English laws and customs, and that peace at last wouid prevail in Ireland. But certain events had lately taken place, that gave rise to animosities and contests, as obstinate, and as bloody, and as disgraceful, a's any that had yet happened-We allude to the religious dissensions caused by the forcible introduction of the Reformation amongst the Irish.
The first attempt to introduce the Reformation into Ireland, was in the reign of Edward VI. when orders were sent for using the English liturgy in all the churches, and directions were given for removing, selling, or destroying all the ornaments, &c. of the catholic religion ; neither argument, nor reason, nor persuasion, were used, but the harsh commands were executed with severity and strictness by an insolent soldiery!
On Queen Mary's ascending the English throne, all these proceedings were suddenly and violently reversed: The an
them all massacred !-See Gray's beautiful Ode, “Ruin seize thee, ruthless
It was long before the Irish bards, or wandering minstrels, were totally
Ireland was famous for music and poetry. The Scotch and the Irish, each of them, contend for the honour of Ossian's Poems; probably they were formed from both the nations, as they then had but one common language, and for several centuries, had a common intercourse and connection both in civil and religious affairs.
cient order of things was again established; the Latin litany and catholic ornaments were restored to all the churches; and the fires of Smithfield were kindled by this bigoted and impolitic woman-persecution with all its horrors was renewed in the sacred name of religion !*
At Queen Elizabeth's accession, another reformation took place-the catholics were again put down, and protestantism gained great strength during her long and prosperous reign.
King James pursued the business of reformation with eagerness, and his power being much greater, his efforts were attended with greater effect. As a further step towards establishing the protestant religion, he escheated, or forfeited, six of the northern counties, viz. Antrim, Armagh, Down, Derry, Donegal, and Tyrone, settling in them large colonies of people from Scotland, and some from England: hence Derry is called London-Derry, as being, most of it, the property, by royal grants, of the twelve incorporated companies of the city of London.
From this time, the people of Ireland may be viewed in * There is a great similarity between this Queen Mary and James II. Both of them, by their violent bigotry, ruined the cause which they were anxious to promote. It may be said that the people of England became protestants, not so much from the convictions of reason, as from the fears of popish despotism.
What a horrible picture does history give of the folly and wickedness of men! It is but little known, because the English historians only skim the subject, that the Scotch suffered mach persecution in the reign of Charles II. In one respect this was rather unaccountable, as that monarch was a voluptuous, unprincipled libertine; but it was a stute business, to make episcopacy the state religion of Scotland. The Bishops of Rome, in the plenitude of their power, beat down every attempt to enlighten and enfranchise the human mind; they persecuted, and, at length, extirpated, the Albigenses, &c. The Spaniards, by that terrible state engine, the inquisition, persecuted, and banished, and tortured, in the name of the most Holy Trinity, millions of Jews, Moors, and Heretics ! The French dra. gooned the Hugonots. The English persecuted both the Irish catholics and Scotch presbyterians. Calvin and the presbyterians domineered in their turn. And thus the work of persecution went round in enlighteneid Europe !
three distinct classes, viz. the Irish, among whom were the descendants of the first English settlers, or “the degenerate English," as they were called, all Roman Catholics—the Scotch settlers, nearly all presbyterians—and the new settlers, who were all of the episcopal, or established church, and who, though fewest in number, were the greatest in power, as having the government of England to support their proceedings, and for whose benefit, in fact, the whole political system of the country was and is calculated.-And this state of parties is nearly the same at this day.
In order to complete the predominancy of the protestant party, all the foriner penal statutes were put in force, and new and very oppressive ones were added to them.—By such mea. sures as these, the catholics were completely excluded ; and hence arose those formidable party distinctions, of catholičs, pre:sbyrerions, and protestants, which have ever since divided and distracted Ireland. The religious prejudices of the two first are dexterously played off against each other; whilst the third party, the least in number, contrives to domineer over them both, and turn every circumstance to its own advantage and emolument.
A union was now forned between the ancient Irish, who, after losing their lands and their laws, were to lose their religion, and ihe old English, whose lords and men of influence were to be deprived of their consequence, whose priests and lawyers were thrown out of employment, and whose numerous people had their churches taken from them by force, and punished for not conforming to the religion of their oppressors All these united, under the banner of the catholic faith, against the protestants, as against a common enemy.
The English government was so much distracted by the contest between Charles I. and the parliament, that little attention was paid to the affairs of Ireland. Irritated by oppression, and favoured by a combination of events, a general insurrection was planned, and carried into execution by the Irish, in October, 1641; many of the protestants were killed,
but the scheme miscarried, and only added to their misfortunes. *
The catholics of Ireland, at this time, were in fact stretching out their hand to assist King Charles, but the infatuated prince did not see it. He threw himself upon the Scotch, who deserted him. He called upon the Irish when it was too late.
The Irish having been baffled in their attempts upon the Castle of Dublin,, both the loyalists and parliamentarians united against them. At length, Cromwell, that fierce and hypocritical usurper, came with a large army, and cut off by the sword the inhabitants of Drogheda, and several other towns. The limits of this Sketch will not admit of our entering into a detail of these bloody scenes; they would only shock the feelings of our readers, and show the depravity of human nature exhibited in a cruel and remorseless war which continued eleven years.
New colonies were transported into Ireland, in order to occupy those lands which were either taken from the catholics, or had become vacant by the destructive effects of the
All' the native Irish were commanded to retire into the province of Connaught, which had become nearly desolate; and a certain day was fixed for them to retire, on pain of death! It was one of those cruel measures which resemble the expulsion of the Moors from Spain ; with this difference, that the Moors were 'the invaders some centuries before; whereas the Irish were the original inhabitants, and had the only just right to the soil.*
* By the English writers, this insurrection has been called a massacre ; indeed it was very like one. It is impossible to justify massacre or assassination, yet it may be said, that they have their degrees of guilt, their shades of provocation. The Irish massacre had a different complexion from the horrible butchery of the protestants in Paris, &c. viz. on St. Bartholomew's day, 25th August, 1572, when 70,000 Hugonots throughout France were murdered in the name of Christ! To excite the first, there was a long train of national oppressions and individual misery—on the other, only the cruel bigotry of a king, a priest, and a woman !-See De Thou's History, &c.
The famous Revolution of 1668, in England, (famous for its beneficial consequences to the liberties of mankind,)t was the cause of another war in Ireland. Driven from a throne which he unworthily filled, James fled to France, from whence, in March, 1689, he sailed with a great armament, and landed at Kinsale. He found the greatest part of the country in his favour; by altering the charters, he had procured a majority of the catholics in parliament, and Lord Tyrconnel, and most of the popish lords, had token arms in his defence.
James soon found himself at the head of 40,000 men, with whom he marched to the north, where lay the strength of the protestant interest. At the siege of Derry, he wasted his time, and weakened his army ;£ and in July, 1690, he was defeated by his son-in-law, William III. at the famous battle of the Boyne. Soon after, James retired to France, resign
By the wars which took place in Queen Elizabeth's time, those of Cromwell, and those of King William, the inhabitants of Ireland were reduced from three millions to half the number at the capitulation of Limerick, when many thousands of the catholics left the country entirely and settled in France and Spain-hence the origin of the Irish brigades in those countries.
† It is not the intention of the editor to justify King William in' every part of his character, but only to speak of the beneficial consequences resulting tu liberty in general from the revolution of 1688 William showed much liberality in religious matters : He gave to the presbyterians their mode of worship in Scotland ; and he granted to the Irish catholics the exercise of their religion as in the reign of Charles II. He endeavoured also to reconcile the jarring controversies of the English episcopalians and the Scotch presbyterians ; but herein he failed the man who moved and directed the intricate politics of Europe, was not able to overcome the bigoted obstinacy of a few priests and presbyters !
# T'he siege of Derry, which continued three months, is remarkable in the history of Ireland for the bravery and hardships of the inhabitants, who, whilst they baffled the attack of King James's army, suffered all the miserieş of a protracted siege, the sword, famine, pestilence, &c.--See Journals, written by the Rev. Col. Walker, &c.