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those good laws which you have already passed against the common enemy.'

In 1711 the necessity of enforcing the Penal Laws was again enjoined by public proclamation.

The secretar, of state wrote to the mayor of Galway to express a hope that he would continue his exertions 'to banish priests, those enemies of our constitution, out of the town, and cause those you have apprehended to be prosecuted by law with utmost rigour.'

In 1712, Sir Constantine Phipps, the lord chancellor of that day, urged upon the corporation of Dublin 'the duty of preventing the public Mass being said, contrary to law, by priests not registered, and that will not take the oath of abjuration.'

In 1713 the sergeant-at-arms was ordered 'to take into custody all Papists who should presume to come into the gallery of the House of Commons.' Thus were the Catholics made outcasts and pariahs in their native land

In 1714 Anne died, and the Stuart era came to a close.

'In Ireland there was peace. The domination of the colonists was absolute. The native population was tranquil with the ghastly tranquillity of exhaustion and of despair.

The iron had entered into the soul. The memory of past defeats, the habit of daily enduring insult and oppression had cowed the spirit of the unhappy nation.'

“There were indeed Irish Roman Catholics of great ability, energy and ambition, but they were to be found everywhere except in Ireland

1714]

A BROKEN NATION

197

—at Versailles and at Saint Ildefonso, in the armies of Frederic and in the armies of Maria Theresa. One exile became a marshall of France. Another became prime minister of Spain. If he had stayed in his native land, he would have been regarded as an inferior by all the ignorant and worthless squireens who drank the glorious and immortal memory. Scattered over all Europe were to be found brave Irish generals, dexterous Irish diplomatists, Irish counts, Irish barons, Irish knights of Saint Lewis and of Saint Leopold, of the White Eagle and of the Golden Fleece, who, if they had remained in the house of bondage, could not have been ensigns of marching regiments or freemen of petty corporations. These men, the natural chiefs of their race, having been withdrawn, what remained was utterly helpless and passive. A rising of the Irishry against the Englishry was no more to be apprehended than a rising of the women and children against the men.'1

The last conquest of Ireland had indeed broken the spirit of the nation.

1 Macaulay.

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were

All power

HEN George I. ascended the

throne (1714-1727), the English colonists in Ireland

supreme. and wealth were in their hands. But England which had shown no mercy to the

native race, did not spare her own children. Even they were not permitted to prosper in Ireland. So far back as 1660, an Act, called the Navigation Act, had been passed, which gave to English and Irish ships the exclusive privilege of carrying goods to and from Asia, Africa or America, thus conferring a great boon on the shipping interests of both countries. But, in 1663, another Navigation Act was passed, and from

1714)

WILLIAM MOLYNEUX

199

once

this Act the name of Ireland was omitted. Thus Irish ships were at excluded from the privileges which English ships now alone enjoyed, and this blow, aimed at English colonists well as native Irish, was fatal to the carrying' trade of the country. In 1665 and 1680, Acts were passed absolutely prohibiting the importation into England, from Ireland, of all cattle, sheep and swine, of beef, pork, bacon, mutton, and even of butter and cheese.'1

In 1696, the colonies were forbidden to send any goods directly to Ireland; and, in 1699, Ireland was forbidden to send manufactured wool, then a thriving industry to any country in the world.2 Thus, as Swift says, the conveniency of ports and harbours, which nature bestowed so liberally on this kingdom, is of no more to us than a beautiful prospect to a man shut up dungeon.'

Men of spirit among the English colonists resented this injustice. William Molyneux (1656-1698), a famous Irishman of English descent, protested against the Act of 1696. He took the high ground that the English parliament (for the commercial laws against Ireland were the measures of that assembly) had no right to legislate for Ireland. Ire

use

in a

1 Lecky.

2 •It was computed by a contemporary writer that the Irish woollen manufacture afforded employment to 12,000 Protestant families [in Dublin), and to 30,000 dispersed over the rest of the kingdom.'--LECKY.

a

land, he said, was an ancient kingdom with an independent parliament, but a common sovereign. The Irish owed allegiance to the English king, but not to the English legislature; and, therefore, laws passed by the English parliament were not binding on the Irish people.

This was the ground taken up by Molyneux; this was the origin of the demand for Irish legislative independence-or Home Rule, with which the present generation is so familiar. But England was resolved that the Irish parliament should not be independent, and, with a view of settling the question for ever, an Act was passed in 1719 declaring that 'the English parliament had, hath, and of right ought to have, full power and authority to make laws of sufficient force and validity to bind the people and kingdom of Ireland.' But, as the commercial laws of 1696 had drawn a protest from William Molyneux, this

Act of the English parliament, brought a yet greater Irishman of English descent into the field.

Dean Swift (1667-1745) denounced the claim of the English parliament to make laws for Ireland with vigour and scorn. He said, 'I have looked over all the English and Irish statutes without finding any law that makes Ireland depend on England any more than England depends upon Ireland. We have, indeed, obliged

1 Parliaments were introduced into Ireland by the Norman settlers. The first Irish parliament sat probably in 1295.

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